Are you ok?

R U OK Day LinkedIn

The annual R U OK?Day is a reminder that a conversation can change a life. 

So, PDL would like to take a moment to check in on you, our members and colleagues. We would like to highlight that while our industry is facing many difficulties associated with remuneration, workload pressures, fatigue and patient expectations, it is imperative that pharmacists take stock and think about their own wellbeing and the physical and mental health of their colleagues.

The PDL Professional Officers confirm they receive many calls, emails and incident reports from pharmacists in all areas of the profession describing the demands and responsibilities placed on them and the challenges in coping with these demands. As everybody associated with the profession recognises these challenging times will continue, pharmacists need to consider being proactive in assessing and addressing their wellbeing. R U OK?Day is a timely reminder of this and the need for our profession to increase its focus on looking after each other.

PDL is proud to represent and support a high proportion of the pharmacy profession and would like to acknowledge the invaluable service that pharmacists provide to their patients and communities. We encourage you to think about yourselves as well as your patients so we as a profession can continue to positively contribute towards patient health and safety.

What can you do if you’re experiencing stress?

PDL released a Practice Alert on this topic in July, which included the following recommendations on how to look after yourself and each other.

  • Share the load. Reach out to colleagues, friends, mentors, GPs and counsellors.
  • Utilise support organisations. Many organisations have Employee Assistance Programs that can be accessed. There is the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS), a not-for-profit organisation, supported by the profession and organisations such as PDL. PSS offers free, confidential, counselling support 365 days a year between 8am – 11pm AEDT. Consider also Black Dog Institute’s The Essential Network (TEN) for Health Professionals and Beyond Blue.
  • Be mindful of limitations to your practices. Sometimes explaining the limit of your ability to assist a patient and the offer of reasonable alternatives is preferable to proceeding against your better judgement and having to defend an action to a regulator.
  • Make sure you take time to do things that you find restorative. What gives you energy? Pharmacists are well known for pushing on and not giving themselves a chance to rest and reset.
  • Access PDL support. The Professional Officers are available to PDL members to discuss these situations and to offer non-judgemental support and advice.


Pictured above from left to right: Paul Naismith (Chair), Kirstie Galbraith ( Vic Director), Amanda Galbraith (NSW/ ACT Director), Gilbert Yeates (Deputy Chair & Qld Director), Joseph O’Malley ( Tas Director)