The purpose of this paper is to examine the mental health literacy (MHL) of British community pharmacists.
A survey instrument was sent by facsimile to a random sample of community pharmacists in England, Scotland and Wales. The survey instrument contained items concerning recognition of the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, the helpfulness of a range of interventions, mental health stigma and the degree of comfort providing pharmaceutical care to people with mental health problems.
Among community pharmacists (n=329) symptom recognition was high for depression but lower for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Pharmacists showed a preference for evidence-based interventions and support for psychological therapies and physical activity for all three mental health problems. Pharmacists expressed less comfort providing pharmacy services to people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression than cardiovascular disease. Mental health stigma was higher for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder than depression, with many pharmacists holding misperceptions about schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The study findings indicate the need for enhanced mental health content in the undergraduate pharmacy curriculum which should challenge misperceptions of mental illness.
This is the first study to investigate the MHL of British community pharmacists.
Morral, K. and Morral, J. (2017), "The mental health literacy of British community pharmacists", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 98-110. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-12-2015-0054
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