Supporting Patients with Depression

Pharmacists must be mindful of how to approach and advise patients with depression through encouragement for self-care and positive lifestyle changes.

Here are some relative advice interventions:

Sleep hygiene

It is recommended that adults should get around seven to nine hours of sleep per night, allowing the body and mind to sufficiently recover and regenerate.

Supporting Patients with Depression.

Alcohol, drugs and nicotine

Reducing smoking, alcohol consumption and the use of illicit drugs has a positive effect on physical health, which is normally worse in patients with mental health problems

Healthy diet

There is limited evidence on the effects of different diets in reducing symptoms of depression.

However, there is evidence that following a healthy diet and weight loss can contribute to an increase in self-esteem and a more positive outlook.


It is recommended that people should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week to stay healthy.

Mindfulness and meditation

A form of meditation originating from Buddhism, mindfulness is defined as the act of being present in the moment, giving yourself your full attention and clearing your mind from stresses of everyday life. Its benefits include reducing stress and subsequently managing mental health.

In community pharmacy, a medicines use review or advice through the new medication service could be the perfect opportunity to discuss interventions that may be helpful for the patient.

Patients can be directed towards online advice around diet and exercise, and there are lots of resources that provide support for meditation and mindfulness.

For patients that require further support, they can be directed to appropriate state services.

Should there be concerns for serious risk of self-harm, patients should be referred to their GP or local hospital emergency department.

Each of the above interventions, could help improve the patient’s mental state, wellbeing, physical health and could help prevent prescriptions for antidepressants.

Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal


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