#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth: The Impact Pharmacists Have on Mental Health
Approximately one in five Americans live with a mental illness. Mental illnesses look different on every person – from unsuspectingly mild to debilitatingly severe. Nearly one in six Americans turn to psychotropic medications for problems relating to mental illness. With so many people using medications as treatment, it comes as no surprise that pharmacists can have a large impact on their patients.
Mental Health Screenings
Patients frequently visit their pharmacy, therefore, pharmacists can be the first healthcare providers to recognize signs of mental illness. By paying close attention to patients, pharmacists can sometimes detect mood changes or any other symptoms of mental illness. Some pharmacies even provide validated depression-screening tools like the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), Beck Depression Inventory, and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
As the most accessible healthcare provider, pharmacists can help guide their patients through the course of their mental health. By educating their patients on psychiatric drugs, such as how and when to take the medication along with any common side effects, they will be more likely to adhere to their medications.
Adherence has been a buzzword in the industry as of late. According to an article on uspharmacist.com, “Reports of patients on antidepressant therapy have shown nonadherence rates as high as 56%; patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have reported nonadherence rates up to 61% and 60%, respectively.” Pharmacists can promote medication adherence by educating the patient on their therapy, listening to their concerns, and provide any additional resources regarding their mental illness or their therapy.
Learn more about Mental Health Awareness Month here.