Comment: How pharmacy can prepare for Self Care Week 2016

Published on: 10th October 2016

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As we all know, self care is becoming an increasingly important part of primary care, and pharmacies are key in helping to encourage people to adopt this behaviour. There are many ways to communicate appropriate health information to the public, but the added value and personal touch cannot be replicated in a leaflet.

That’s why it’s crucial for pharmacy to maximise the opportunity of Self Care Week this November. Not only will it help to increase footfall and highlight the services and products pharmacies offer, but it will also help to support people and give them the tools to look after their own health for life. The pharmacy team has an opportunity to become the “face” of the campaign, offering that vital in-person advice, particularly about self-treatable conditions and over-the-counter medicines.

Organised by the Self Care Forum, Self Care Week has been running since 2011 and is an annual national awareness week that focuses on embedding support for self care across communities, families and generations. The theme for this year’s campaign is Health Literacy.

There are numerous ways your community pharmacy can get involved and help drive awareness of Self Care Week.

I would encourage you to look at the Self Care Forum website where there are free resources and materials available to download, such as posters and leaflets, which can be printed and displayed in and around the pharmacy to promote self care.

If you are keen to get the local community involved, then why not hold an educational seminar in store, for example to support new parents or the elderly? It is the perfect time of year to run a community-wide self care initiative on winter health ailments, such as coughs, colds or flu, aimed at educating the general public and vulnerable audiences on how they can care and protect themselves during this time.

If you have active social media accounts, either individual or store based, then you can show your support by including the hashtags #selfcareweek and #selfcareforlife within your tweets so your followers know you are taking part.

Whatever you can do to support Self Care Week will help raise awareness and reap rewards. Not only will it help drive footfall to your pharmacy and engagement with your community, it will also help improve the health and wellbeing of the local population.

 

This blog first appeared in P3 Magazine.

 

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