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Pharmacists being trained to spot signs of mental health issues during pandemic

Pharmacists being trained to spot signs of mental health issues during pandemic
Posted at 4:14 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 17:18:15-04

There's a new first responder on the lookout for anyone who may be experiencing mental health issues.

“Most people probably see their pharmacists more than their primary care physicians or certified therapists, so pharmacists are in a really good position to be able to notice these early warning signs or risk factors,” said Chad Cadwell, a Walgreens pharmacist.

Walgreens pharmacists just finished the first phase of mental health first aid training. The program was developed by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

They're taught to look for risk factors and red flags in patients, everything from anxiety and depression to addiction.

Pharmacists can connect those people with the right resources, support groups, or may just lend an empathetic ear.

“Really listening to their needs, spending those extra couple of minutes, instead of trying to get the work out, but also spending that time talking and listening to your patients, right now with everything that is going on with the pandemic, everything is so busy,” said Cadwell.

This training initiative was actually put into place pre-pandemic.

Mental Health America has already seen significant increases in the number of daily screenings for depression and anxiety since the beginning of the year.