Pilot Study – Griffith University

A pilot study to improve the role of community pharmacy in supporting mental health clients and their carers

Peter was appointed the role of a Pharmacist Mentor for the Pilot Program. His role was facilitating at workshops to deliver the Education Package, then performing site visits and over the phone interviews with participating Pharmacies.

People who suffer with a Mental Illness in society, have described Pharmacies as a more relaxed environment than a Doctor’s surgery with regard to obtaining information about their treatment.

Mental Health Patients look upon Pharmacists as experts in medicine who use more consumer friendly language. The pilot study was instigated to provide Pharmacists and Pharmacy Assistants with the education and strategies to support the needs and expectations of these patients.

The Griffith Uni team collaborated with Mental Health Patients, Carers and Community Pharmacies to develop a comprehensive educational package for Pharmacies. There would be education about Mental Illness and skills for offering support. The main objective being to assist those with a Mental Illness to manage their medications better.

The methodology of the study was to recruit a large cohort of Pharmacies around Australia. Each Pharmacy then recruited a sample of Mental Health Patients. The aim of this was to develop an intervention plan to improve compliance with medication and improve partnerships between Mental Health Patients and Pharmacy staff.

The outcomes generated included an improved knowledge of Mental Health Patients and their everyday issues, by providing the skills and resources needed, learnt from the study.

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