Pharmacist Support has announced it will begin offering counselling sessions for those experiencing mental health issues later this month.

The charity said it had received a grant from the Covid-19 Healthcare Support Appeal to launch the direct psychological support for those struggling.

It comes after one third of pharmacists said their mental health had been ‘significantly’ impacted by the pandemic.

The study by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Pharmacist Support found that 54% of pharmacists said that Covid-19 had affected their mental health, while 89% were at risk of burnout.

The new counselling service, which is in partnership with The Counselling and Family Centre, will fund six counselling sessions.

Pharmacists, trainees and students will all be able to access the new service through the charity’s website from 23 April.

The announcement coincided with the 180th year since the charity’s inception.

The organisation started out providing financial assistance to pharmacy professionals who had ‘fallen on hard times’, and today focuses on championing wellbeing through a range of services.

In its statement, Pharmacist Support said it was also ‘proud to formally reconnect’ with the RPS 180 years on, and hoped to ‘better understand and improve mental health awareness within the sector’ through the partnership.

‘Over the past couple of years, the charity and the RPS have been working collaboratively on a services of wellbeing focused activities, including workforce wellbeing surveys and webinars,’ it said.

‘We plan to continue this work so together we can create the right working conditions and culture for good mental health and wellbeing in pharmacy, encourage the destigmatisation of mental health and enable pharmacy teams to access the support they need.’

Danielle Hunt, chief executive of Pharmacist Support, said: ‘We’ve come such a long way from the organisation we were 180 years ago and are proud of the way we have adapted and responded to the profession’s needs over this time.

‘By working collaboratively and continuing to listen, we hope the charity will continue to provide an independent safe space for those in our pharmacy family to share their worries and access support for many more years to come.’