Some people may feel more comfortable talking to people outside of their friends and family about issues such as anxiety. This page covers the support you can receive from Pharmacist Support as well as outside organisations to reach out to.
What is the Listening Friends service?
The Listening Friends peer support service allows you to speak in confidence and anonymously to one of our trained volunteer pharmacists – a Listening Friend.
Our Listening Friends are all pharmacists or retired pharmacists. It can be helpful to discuss any issues with people who understand the context of the pharmacy experience.
Our volunteers do not provide advice but are trained to listen with empathy and will offer you a listening ear and a safe, non-judgemental space to talk through your concerns to help you find clarity and perspective, realise you’re not alone and hopefully begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They can also signpost you to other organisations who can provide further specialised help and support via our website or our Information and Enquiries Team.
When to use the Listening Friends service
This service can cover a variety of issues that maybe causing you stress, but most commonly pharmacists contact us if they are dealing with difficult working relationships or workplace pressure.
Listening Friends also offers you the chance to speak in confidence to another pharmacist about issues such as:
- If you are worried or anxious about your studies
- If you are stressed or anxious about experiences or bullying in your workplace or placement
- You are experiencing difficulty connecting with others in your life
- You are feeling a bit low
- You are experiencing social/emotional difficulties, such as feeling a bit nervous or lacking confidence to join in with groups or occasions.
Here are some examples of instances where a call to one of our Listening Friends may help:
Adele is a first-year student and is four months into her course. She has moved away from home for the first time, and it all feels unfamiliar. She feels that her peers have already found groups and interests to belong to and she is not sure how to make those links for herself. It is making her feel a bit lonely and homesick.
Rick is a third-year student and has not got the results he needed. Most of his peers have passed. He believes that he has a lot to do to catch up and it feels like too big a task. He has started to feel a bit down and low in confidence and that he is letting his family down. He doesn’t feel like he has anyone to talk to about it.
During the foundation placement
Michael is a trainee pharmacist. He is struggling with the demands of the job and feels worried about how he will do in the upcoming assessment. He finds himself imagining the worst outcome and it distracts him from revising.
Rani is a pharmacist working in a busy hospital pharmacy. She is a single mum to a 14-year-old daughter. Rani feels overwhelmed and tired, and she and her daughter seem to be constantly arguing. She does not have any family close by and does not feel able to confide in her friends or colleagues. She just needs someone to offload to so that it feels less overwhelming.
Asmita found the last year very difficult. She is struggling with loneliness without the support of her friends through the pandemic. People at her workplace are struggling as well and she feels that her manager takes his frustration out on her. She is concerned about workplace bullying and is starting to feel anxious about going to work.
Pharmacists should note that our peer support offering does not qualify as evidence of peer discussion for the purposes of revalidation.
To request a Listening Friend, please fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.
Please note this is not an emergency service. If you have seriously harmed yourself call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E. If you are suffering a mental health emergency, you can get help via A&E or by contacting your GP for an emergency appointment. If you are feeling suicidal, immediately contact emergency services or a helpline listed here on the NHS website.