Listening Friends service

Listening Friends is our peer support service. This peer support service offers you the choice of speaking in confidence and anonymously to one of our trained volunteer pharmacists.

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.  Listening Friends’ support is intended to be over a short term. If you feel you need longer-term help or help for more complex issues to do with your mental health, please have a look at our counselling service.

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:   

At university

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.   

At work

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. 

Any personal information you provide to the charity when applying for our services will be held securely by us and our trusted service providers. You can read our privacy policy for service users here.


  • You are or ever have been on the register of pharmacists maintained by the General Pharmaceutical Council or formerly the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of GB.
  • You are the spouse/civil partner/widow/er of a current or former pharmacist.
  • You are a trainee pharmacist in Great Britain.
  • You are a student on an MPharm degree course, or accredited OSPAP course in Great Britain.
  • and you live in Great Britain

The Process

  • Complete the short referral form below and submit via our secure website
  • One of our team will review your form and if appropriate we will allocate one of our volunteers to provide confidential telephone support for you.
  • We will email you within 3 working days to confirm the name of your Listening Friend volunteer and the date and time they will be calling you.
  • You will be called on the telephone number you have provided on this form.

General information

  • Our volunteers do not give advice, but they can provide a listening ear and a safe, non-judgemental space for you to talk through difficulties you are experiencing to reach your own conclusions and clarity.
  • Our volunteers will give you an initial call at the time of day you have requested on your form. You will arrange any further calls directly with the volunteer you have been allocated.
  • If you need to cancel, please contact us at, 24 hours prior to the arranged appointment. If you do not answer the initial call or on two consecutive occasions without cause, you are welcome to reapply for a Listening Friend when you feel it is appropriate.

    The following details are requested to enable us to allocate support for you and to ensure that our service continues to be appropriate for your needs.  Please be assured that all information provided will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Urgent help

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.   

Further mental health support

Further mental health support

Talking Therapy

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.

Further mental health support

Physical health

Explore how to easily incorporate exercise and healthy eating into your daily routine, and the benefits of doing so.

Further mental health support

Family and personal life

Here you will find an array of guidance, information and organisations that may help you if you are experiencing difficulties in your family or personal life.