The Pharmacist Support charity has launched its annual ACTNow mental health and wellbeing campaign, marking the 20th anniversary of Stress Awareness Month.

Following the successful segmentation of its ACTNow campaign last year, targeting the varying needs of each group in the pharmacy family (students, trainees and pharmacists), the pharmacy charity has agreed to again run three targeted wellbeing campaigns in 2022.

The first campaign, which ran from 30 March to 6 April, focused on pharmacy students, particularly exam anxiety, social anxiety and bullying.

The second will be the charity’s trainee ACTNow campaign, which will focus on preparation for assessment and the transition to responsible pharmacist, and run from 25 May to 1 June.

The final instalment will be a pharmacist-focused campaign that will kick off on World Pharmacists’ Day (25 September) and run for four weeks, ending on 22 October.

This year, as part of Stress Awareness Month, Pharmacist Support will be launching a set of resources focused on normalising mental health conversations in the workplace and encouraging organisations, employers and managers to put employees’ mental health at the top of the agenda.

Last April, the charity launched a counselling service, which in its first year helped 73 individuals, some of whom presented with complex traumas. Following a recruitment drive, Pharmacist Support is also expanding its peer support network of ‘listening friends’, providing more capacity to support people within the profession struggling with work and study-based worries.

Pharmacist Support chief executive Danielle Hunt said: ‘Our aspiration is to create a tidal wave of change to reverse the trends of high levels of burnout within the profession. We believe this will only be realised through collaborative working and commitment.’

She added: ‘We know from our 2021 joint workforce wellbeing survey with the RPS that many in the sector do not feel comfortable opening up about their anxieties and reaching out for support in the workplace or place of study.

‘It can be difficult to speak out about mental health at work, but even more so if it isn’t supported or encouraged. However, not doing so can be costly not only to the individual, but to businesses and the sector. We want to help organisations establish and maintain a healthy, supportive work and study environment. An environment where individuals, across an entire organisation, and in particular those in leadership positions, feel comfortable opening up and encouraging others to do the same. We recognise that to establish a culture built around trust, needs buy in from and to be led from the top.’