Your Professional and Personal Wellness Prescription

As individuals, we can only thrive when the entire profession is strong. One of PSNZ’s key priorities is to support the wellbeing and resilience of our professional workforce. NZ’s pharmacists and their teams have taken on a lot and stepped up to cope throughout several years of unusual stress (COVID, natural disasters, workforce shortages) to care for and support their patients and communities.

This prolonged pressure and the ongoing strain on our health system continues to highlight the significant physical and mental stresses pharmacists endure as they continue to provide quality care for their patients. As pharmacists we spend a lot of time caring for others and it is important that we also care for ourselves. When working, it is important not to neglect looking after ourselves so that we can give our best to others.


It's OK to reach out for help – never hesitate if you are concerned for someone else or yourself.

  • If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 111 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.
  • If you or someone you know are experiencing a mental health emergency please contact your local Crisis team.

If its not an emergency, but you would like someone to talk to, free and confidential support is available from Need to Talk? Free call or free text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day. You’ll get to talk to (or text with) a trained counsellor or talk to a peer support worker.

The following collection of resources has been collated for the NZ pharmacy profession to enable both individual and pharmacy teams to thrive in an environment where resources are stretched (or non-existent), demand exceeds capacity and increased expectations create a pressurised working environment.

Use these resources as they suit you best – focus on one area, use one or use several – whatever works for you in your situation.

It's important to recognise that as health professionals, we are not exempt from the feelings of stress, worry and anxiety. It is OK to say that you are not coping.

New Zealand Resources (for individuals)

Coping Strategies

The Society facilitated a question and answer session on Health & Well-being - coping strategies during COVID-19 with wellness experts Dr Fiona Moir and Dr Renske van den Brink from Connect Communications. The content covers how to handle stress, conflict and anxiety.

Surviving to Thriving, presented by Dr Bex Bell. Bex uses her background in forensic psychology, health promotion, and fitness, she supports individuals, teams, and organisations to operate at the intersection between high-performance and wellbeing and find practical solutions for minimising stress, maximising wellbeing, and optimising potential.

Dealing with the realities of change, uncertainty, staffing and public pressures can take its toll. This session (from the free PSNZ "Supporting Mental Health on Aotearoa" programme) takes a pragmatic approach to exploring how to optimise wellbeing and minimise burnout within a high-pressure work environment.

After listening to Bex’s presentation, you will be able to:

  • Recognise the signs of burnout, its causes and be able to identify early symptoms
  • Utilise simple, realistic habits that help to minimise burnout and maximise wellbeing within the realities of a high-pressure work environment.

This Worker Wellbeing page provides several practical resources to assist you as a health professional to maintain your wellbeing and respond effectively to people accessing health care.

  • Looking after your own wellbeing.
  • Contributing to a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Asking for support when needed.

These materials are in a variety of different formats e.g. YouTube videos, documents, and editable pdfs.

Just a Thought offers evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and is designed for people with mild-to-moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

CBT teaches people how to control their emotions, thoughts and behaviour to improve their mental health.

This site has further resources in The Wellbeing Space including Building Healthy Boundaries, Managing Worry, Improving your Self Esteem and more. 

Led by John Kirwan, the Groov platform focuses on action and behaviour change across 3 layers to lift wellbeing and performance:

  • organisational
  • leadership
  • an employee/individual level.

Resources include Insider learning community, podcasts, blogs, events (live, virtually or on-demand), an interactive wellbeing quiz, an employee retention guide, 6 pillars of wellbeing poster.

Melon is an online program that empowers you to take control of your health by giving you the tools, support, information and confidence to manage your health.

Have a look at their welcome video 

Resources include:

  • Behaviour change - Understand your habits and triggers and replace old ones with new.
  • Online Community - Share and connect with others on a similar health journey.
  • Resources & Modules - Curated content and resources you can trust. Personalized for you
  • Coaching - One-on-one support from a trained health coach to get you started.
  • Health Journal - Keep track of your exercise, mood, sleep and food.

Resilience for health professionals

Current healthcare challenges are particularly stressful at individual, organisational, and systemic levels. Workforce resilience is fundamental to coping with demanding situations and maintaining an effective healthcare system. This webinar focusses on individual resilience and providing a roadmap for coping with adversity. Additional reading and viewing is provided for those who are particularly interested, and follow-up interactive workshops will be offered to dive deeper into refining skills to foster resilience.

International Resources 

Developing Resilience in Pharmacy - International Panel Discussion

On 5 February 2021, Catriona Bradley (Executive Director, Irish Institute of Pharmacy & Pharmacist) chaired an international panel discussion on the topic of "Developing Resilience in Pharmacy - a Personal Professional or System Issue?


  • Ciara Ni Dhubhlaing, Chief Pharmacist, St Patrick's Hospital, President of the College of Mental Health Pharmacists, Chair of IIOP Mental Health Working Group
  • Emily Kelly, Community Pharmacist, McCauley Health & Beauty Pharmacy. Member of IIOP COVID Hub Working Group
  • Dr Karen Whitfield, University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Chair of Global Resilience Team (GRiT)
  • Prof Zubin Austin, Professor of Health Services Research, University of Ontario

Dr. Catherine Duggan, Chief Executive Officer, International Pharmacy Federation (FIP)

Developing Resilience in Pharmacy - The Role of Optimism - Dr Catriona Bradley and Dr Mary Collins

The Global Resilience Team (GRiT) is a global Community of Practice designed to learn and share ideas and to provide a support network to those interested in developing a greater understanding of resilience in the pharmacy profession.

The team consists of a range of people including pharmacists, social scientists, academics and psychologists from a range of backgrounds. This site has been developed to allow free access to information, videos, podcasts and tools about resilience and wellbeing.

Topics include Burnout; Readiness; Resilient teams; Resilience and emotional intelligence; Balance

Within each topic you’ll find self-reflection tools, continuing professional development modules, measurement and scoring tools, as well as links to interesting and useful resources developed by GRiT members and others.

Pharmacist Support Services (Australia) exist to offer support to the many demands of being a pharmacist. Their site contains many resources including:

Phoenix Australia provides Information, resources and training for professionals who support individuals and communities experiencing the mental health impacts of disasters.

This site has lots of excellent resources for health professionals to use to look after themselves and support their communities before, during and after natural disasters. Many of these are available in several languages.

Topics include PSTD, Depression, Anxiety, Alcohol and substance use, Life and Relationships, Building Resilience and more

Beyond Blue is an Australian site that has links to learning about how to cope with depression, anxiety and suicide following a traumatic event or natural disaster.

It's common for people affected by a disaster to experience a range of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that can be intense, confusing and frightening. Fear, for example, is an important and normal reaction that helps activate our body and mind to make decisions to protect our own life and the lives of loved ones.

It's important to know the difference between a common reaction to a stressful or traumatic event and signs that indicate you should seek more support.

HSE Health & Wellbeing (UK) has launched a new, free, online mental health and wellbeing programme called Minding Your Wellbeing. This evidenced based programme, focusing on the promotion of mental wellbeing, has been adapted from a face-to-face programme into a series of online videos.

The content focuses on the following areas:

1. Practicing Self-Care - Explores the importance of individual ‘s ‘self-care’ and encourages participants to build their own ‘self-care toolkit’ which includes healthy habits for their mental health and wellbeing

2. Understanding Our Thoughts - Invites participants to reflect on their own thinking and consider how thinking patterns can impact wellbeing

3. Exploring Emotions - Encourages participants to notice their emotions and increase their positive emotions to improve their wellbeing

4. Building Positive Relationships -Discusses ways in which participants can nurture, value and foster positive relationships which are so important for mental wellbeing

5. Improving Our Resilience - Invites participants to improve their resilience, learn about the building blocks of resilience including the importance of focussing on strengths. This provides a unique opportunity to learn and practice key elements of mental wellbeing such as mindfulness, gratitude, self-care and resilience.

CPhA Pharmacy Workforce Wellness Initiative is designed to help understand the core causes driving stress and burnout in the profession and identify solutions and strategies to minimise these.

Their resources include:

Wellness Toolkit: A collection of evidence-based resources to support pharmacy professionals, both individuals and pharmacy teams.

Resource Round-up: Mental Health: A collection of resources and practice tools on important health topics to help you in your practice.

Workplace Wellness 

The Open Minds videos, managers guide, tips, factsheets, posters and FAQs provide managers with practical tips to help with conversations about mental health in the workplace and to equip them with the confidence and skills to support employees experiencing mental health concerns.

The long-term outcome of Open Minds is that New Zealand employers are able to develop workplace policies, structures and cultures that are more inclusive and supportive of people with experience of mental illness.

Working Well - A series of webinars that provide  practical tips and tools to prioritise workplace wellbeing and create a workplace culture that promotes positive mental wellbeing. 

Topics include:

  • Creating positive environments - Learn what mental health and wellbeing is, the importance of prioritising wellbeing in the workplace and how to create a positive wellbeing culture.
  • Enhancing mental wellbeing – introduction to the Five Ways of Wellbeing, and how to apply them in the workplace.
  • Minimising and managing workplace stress  - discusses how work impacts stress and how organisations and their people can use the Three Rs, Refuel/Whakatipu, Resolve/Whakatika and Relax/Whakatā, to get on top of it.

Violence and Aggression in the Workplace - 2022 Webinar. Dr Sandy Richardson, Senior lecturer (Faculty of Health), University of Canterbury and Nurse Researcher (ED, Christchurch Hospital) discusses this growing issue in healthcare and tools for responding.

Self and team care: Keeping connected to what matters – This March 2022 webinar discusses the growing additional stressors not only on our healthcare systems but also on our workplaces and personal lives, risking burnout and poor mental health such as depression, anxiety and a sense of helplessness.

This session will look at useful and practical tools for individuals and teams to stay resilient.

The Thriving Doctor (clinician) – this insightful podcast covers that all HCPs are under constant time pressure and are trying to give the best (evidence-based) health care, but this can come at the cost of connection with the patient and compassion for the patient and self.

Looking after your team’s health and wellbeing

This guide is designed to help you and your team explore what being part of a healthy team means for you, and to embark on a collaborative journey where you are ‘in the driving seat’ to improve things, together. It recognises this by empowering you and your team to create a wellbeing culture that is right for your team, in your local setting, and at your own pace.

Use the following sections to help identify your team's wellbeing goals (either work through them all or dip in and out based on your identified needs.)

A Mental Health Guide for New Zealand Leaders

This guide provides information that will help you to enhance and protect the mental health of yourself and your people.

  • Section 1 provides information about what happens when people are placed under stress, sources of stress, common reactions, some tips and tools for recognising and managing mental health issues, and where to go for help.
  • Section 2 provides a range of specific strategies and tools that have been shown to be effective in managing stress, building resilience and maintaining positive mental health and performance.
  • Section 3 focuses on a leader’s role in creating a positive mental health culture, managing workplace demands and supporting people with mental health issues.