NPA partners with mental health charities as centenary celebrations continue

 

The National Pharmacy Association has partnered with Mind in England and Wales, and its sister charities in Scotland and Northern Ireland, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and Inspire Wellbeing – to raise awareness of pharmacy services for people with mental health problems and to raise funds for the vital work of these charities.

The initiative is being launched as part of the NPA’s centenary celebrations, so fundraising activities will use a ‘100’ theme, for example 100 mile (or 100 metre!) walks and 100 question quizzes.

All pharmacists, colleagues, family and friends are being invited to participate – either by supporting the NPA’s own set-piece events, or by organising their own activities. As a pillar of communities across the UK, pharmacies often take part in charitable fundraising and engage with the voluntary sector in a variety of ways. It can have a positive impact on the reputation of a business and also improves staff morale.

 

NPA Board member, Raj Aggarwal OBE, said:

“I am personally looking forward to getting stuck into fundraising activities. Community pharmacy is well placed at the heart of local communities to identify and help those in need of support to maintain good mental health. Our message is that community pharmacies are concerned with the wellbeing of the whole person – mind as well as body.”

 

Emma Ihsan, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Mind, said:

“We are incredibly grateful to the National Pharmacy Association for choosing to mark its 100th year by raising funds to support people experiencing mental health problems in the UK.  During the pandemic, millions of us have experienced a mental health problem, or seen a loved one struggle for the first time in our lives, and Mind’s services have never been more in demand. The funds donated by the NPA will help us be there for as many people who need us as possible and will help Mind to fight for change, for fairness, for respect and for life-changing support.”

 

Sinead O’Dwyer, Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser at SAMH, said:

“At SAMH, we know how a mental health problem can affect everything. It can have the most profound impact on our relationships, our work, our wellbeing and our quality of life. Our partnership with the National Pharmacy Association will fund crucial mental health support for people across Scotland.  On behalf of everyone at SAMH, a huge thank you to the NPA and their members. We are proud to be your partner and know you are all equally as proud to support the mental health cause. We look forward to working together to make a real difference – here’s to a fantastic partnership!”

 

Kerry Anthony MBE, CEO of Inspire, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with the National Pharmacy Association in this their 100th year anniversary. Pharmacies are at the heart of communities across the country and for over 60 years Inspire has been a beacon of hope for those living with mental ill health and addictions in the same communities. We look forward to working with all our community pharmacies in Northern Ireland, raising funds, awareness, spreading a message of positive mental health and wellbeing.“

 

Information on how to get involved and lots of fundraising ideas will be shared with NPA members shortly.

 

Allergy Awareness Week

Allergy UK Allergy Awareness Week 2017 is taking place from 24th – 30th April. This week can be used to raise awareness for all allergic conditions including food, respiratory, skin and children’s allergies. You may wish to use the week to draw attention to the support available in your pharmacy. Since we are approaching ‘hay fever season’, why not use our Hay Fever FAQs on your social media platforms? You can also raise awareness by downloading our Hay Fever poster to use online and in your pharmacy window.

How Pharmacists Can Help:

At this time of year it is also important to be ready to help customers with their hay fever symptoms. Pharmacies should look to effectively promote this message in order to increase footfall into the pharmacy.

Hay Fever FAQ:

What is hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. It is also known as ‘seasonal allergic rhinitis’ because it affects the linings of the eyes, nose and throat at times of the year when specific pollens are in the air.

What are the symptoms of hay fever?
Common symptoms are a runny or blocked nose, itchy nose or throat, frequent sneezing, and itchy, red or watery eyes.  If your hay fever is particularly bad, it can have a significant effect on your quality of life – reducing your ability to concentrate and you may be unable to sleep.

How many people are affected by hay fever?
Hay fever is one of the most common allergic conditions. It is estimated that there are more than 10 million people with hay fever in England. Hay fever usually begins in childhood or during the teenage years, but you can get it at any age. Hay fever is more likely if there is a family history of allergies, particularly asthma or eczema.

What causes symptoms?
Pollen from trees, grasses and some weeds such as nettles cause inflammation and irritation in people whose immune systems react badly to these pollens.

Do hay fever symptoms get worse at certain times of the year?  

Spring can signal the start of a miserable time for those people who suffer from hay fever.  Grass pollen is the culprit for most and the season can start in May and last until July or August, but for people who are allergic to tree pollen the season can start as early as February, depending on whether you are allergic to early or late flowering trees. For those allergic to nettles or other weeds the season is likely to be late summer – August and September.

For the full Pharmacy Staff Q&A visit: https://www.npa.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/import/Hay-fever-Q-A-for-Staff.pdf

Download the Hayfever Poster

Author:  Leyla Hannbeck

No Smoking Day 2017

National No Smoking Day 2017 is held annually on the second Wednesday in March to give a ‘quit date’ to those who are considering and wanting to give up smoking. Ensure that your patients are aware of the help and support they can access at their local pharmacy, not just today but all year round.

Every month over 4,000 people quit smoking with the help of the services provided by community pharmacy, however today is a great opportunity to increase this number.

People who smoke put themselves at greater risk of developing serious illnesses which can lead to disability or death. Among other health complications, smoking can cause cancer, heart and lung disease. Smoking can also reduce fertility.  Apart from the health implications, smoking also has cosmetic effects, such as wrinkles appearing at a younger age and discoloration of skin and teeth.

Quitting smoking has huge health benefits including dramatically reducing risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers. It is also a good way to save money. Take the opportunity this No Smoking Day to encourage your patients to make today the day.

You can help spread awareness by sharing the Ask Your Pharmacist poster on your pharmacy’s social media platforms, or by displaying it in your pharmacy window.

give-up-smoking-web

Author:  Leyla Hannbeck

How to live well with Hygge

The Danish idea of hygge describes a feeling of happiness, contentment and wellbeing derived from cosiness and the small pleasures in life. In many ways some of the things we do are ‘hyggelig’ without us realising - like sitting down to eat supper with family, or lighting a candle while sitting down to read a book. Appreciating the simple comforts around us can help to enhance general wellbeing - particularly during the cold Winter months.

hygge-guide

It is important to keep warm in your home during Winter, particularly to help prevent illness such as cold and flu. Staying warm at home doesn’t have to mean increasing your energy bills; cosy up with thick blankets and a hot water bottle to enjoy being snug in the spirit of hygge.

Wrap up! Chunky knits, woolly hats and fluffy socks are not only a good way to keep your body at a good temperature, take pleasure in the soft feeling of comfort. This could be enhanced by enjoying a hot drink like tea or hot chocolate, or a hot meal.

Although a necessity, one of the small pleasures we may take for granted each day is the food we eat. Hot, comforting foods like stews, pies and chilli will warm your body and satisfy your needs. Cooking together and sitting down to enjoy a meal is also a great way to share time with your loved ones and appreciate what you have.

The essence of hygge encourages one to be mindful and at peace, and solo activities such as yoga or cycling may help to achieve this. Light exercise will get your body moving, keeping you active, warm and energised during the season while increasing your dopamine levels- the chemical that helps us feel happiness.

A huge part of the Scandinavian spirit of hygge is spending time with your loved ones and showing gratitude. So do away with mobile phones, social media and trivial worries for an evening or two, and share it with friends and family.

Hygge may not ensure your good health, but this Winter there are certainly small changes that you can make in order to feel happier and improve your wellbeing – these things are all around you, all you have to do is notice them.

 

Author:  Leyla Hannbeck