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Lifeguard Pharmacy scheme

Lifeguard Pharmacy WEB

A pilot for a new mental health response service is now running across selected Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacies to give aid to people experiencing suicidal thoughts and/or domestic abuse.

Just as a lifeguard would provide a watchful eye over swimmers to prevent them from getting into difficulty, the Lifeguard Pharmacy service provides more than 40 fully trained professionals, across eight Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacies, to appropriately signpost those who are in danger of harm from either themselves or somebody else.

Typically, mental health service provision is accessed over the phone or requires prior bookings to be made. This unique new service means that no appointment is needed and adults over the age of 18 can drop in to access face-to-face, confidential consultations with trained community pharmacy staff who will signpost the consultee to the most appropriate service for their needs.

To ensure discretion, users can indicate their need for a consultation by displaying the life ring symbol at the counter, either by showing the image on a mobile phone or by picking up a branded card in-pharmacy. Users can also ask ‘to talk to the Lifeguard’.

The service is the result of a study conducted by a consortium of researchers from the University of Lincoln, UK, University of Nottingham, University of York and King’s College London, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

To understand the needs of the community, the project team have created a public opinion survey, which is voluntary and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete:

The service is available now and will run until Saturday 22 July 2023. Find out more online or connect via Instagram and Facebook using the handle @lifeguardpharmacyhub.

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