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Should depression or anxiety be part of pharmacy medicine use reviews?

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Peter Kelly

I RECENTLY started to do NMS with patients who are prescribed antidepressants for the first time, or beta blockers for anxiety. I won’t get paid for doing them, as the criteria for NMS does not cover mental health conditions, however I have started to do them anyway, as I think it should.

First time users of antidepressants and patients seeking treatment for anxiety are typically young people in their twenties. They benefit greatly from human interactions with healthcare professionals. They need reassurance and healthy living advice.

To me, it is as obvious that in order to maintain good mental health you need to sleep and eat well, exercise, stay hydrated, relax and have fun. It is not clearly obvious to many young people.

When you inform a young person who has just gone to their doctor for help with anxiety or panic attacks that you will phone them next week to see how everything is going, their gratitude is humbling.

I don’t want to take anything away from MURs and NMS directed at older patients for hypertension and diabetes, but I am completely convinced that these services directed at young people dealing with mental health issues can be much more effective in getting patients to make positive changes to their lifestyles. If you want to encourage people to live healthy lives, you need to get the message through to them when they are young.

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