Today, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) released a video from NABP President Lenora S. Newsome, PD, in which she discusses her presidential initiative addressing the critical issue of mental health and well-being in the practice of pharmacy. In a heartfelt video message, Dr Newsome, a devoted southern Arkansas pharmacist with 43 years of experience, expresses her deep concern for the mental health of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and patients.
In her address, she sheds light on the pressing challenges pharmacists face, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to burnout and a shortage of pharmacy professionals. She also highlights the importance of pharmacists’ mental health due to the impact they can have on patients’ lives, recalling a moment when a simple conversation helped prevent a potential suicide.
To combat these issues, Dr Newsome’s initiative aims to bring the pharmacy community together. Workshops and task forces have been convened, uniting NABP with other pharmacy, medical, and nursing organizations to collaboratively address these challenges. It is a call to action for the entire industry to unite and find solutions.
“Burnout is real. It’s happening all across the board in health care. It’s happening with our pharmacists, our technicians, our medical doctors, and also our nurses. . .all of these groups have got to come together so that we can find solutions to burnout,” says Dr Newsome.
This effort resonates with the broader health care industry, which has witnessed rising burnout levels across various health care professions. Pharmacy regulators, employers, employees, and organizations are encouraged to come together and collaboratively find practical solutions to the challenges faced by the pharmacy workforce.
Dr Newsome also emphasizes the importance of self-care, encouraging professionals to take care of their physical and mental health. Seeking help from mental health professionals and engaging in open conversations with colleagues can make a significant difference.
Her message concludes with an inspiring reminder to find one’s “reset button” – activities or hobbies that bring joy and relief. Just like Dr Newsome and her friends, who enjoy hiking, motorcycling, or gardening, finding one’s own source of happiness is vital in combating stress and burnout.
NABP believes that addressing mental health and well-being is a shared responsibility that requires the collective effort of the entire pharmacy community. Working with its member boards of pharmacy and pharmacy associations, NABP aims to create a more resilient and healthier pharmacy workforce.