What can you do if you believe someone is in need of help with their mental health?

Welcome to “A Virtual Q&A with Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacists”! Join our pharmacists as they answer your questions on various health and medication topics.

What can you do if you believe someone is in need of help with their mental health?

What we would like to do is to assess the safety first. The safety of that person and the safety of the surroundings. So, we need to assess if that person has any suicidal thoughts or violent behaviour that may pose a risk to themselves or to others. Or if they are impaired and cannot drive, which is also a risk to themselves and to others. If we found that there is a risk factor there, then we would call 9-1-1 to come and help that particular person and take them to the hospital to get the medical need that they need. Now, if we did the assessment and we found that there is no suicidal thoughts, no impairment, or possible harm to others, then we would like to ask the consent of that person so that we can take them to a private area in the pharmacy where we talk to them about how they feel. Based on what they tell us openly, then we will redirect them to their family doctors as a first step to assess their situation. The family doctor might decide to treat that particular person or patient on the family practice level or would refer them to a psychiatrist. They would also prescribe them some medications, if needed, they might suggest some counselling, they might suggest some social work or psychotherapy. One point that we also need to mention is that you have to be open and honest with your doctor, and tell them exactly how you feel, there is no shame or blame. The other thing that I wanted to stress is another part of mental illness and addiction problems in Canada would be the narcotics use. Narcotics could be fatal, some people would use it to ease their symptoms and to feel better, it could be fatal or even could lead to death, so we want to make sure that we keep the human life. So, we suggest that you get a Naloxone kit. There is a nationwide take home Naloxone kit in many provinces, and they would offer it for free. Just go to your nearest pharmacy, speak to the pharmacist, they will provide you with options with different Naloxone kits, and they will provide you with the training and the steps that you go through, including calling 9-1-1 and will help you get it without a prescription. Speak to your pharmacist and they would be more than happy to help you.

Whether you have questions about your prescription medications, over-the-counter products, immunizations, or other health concerns, our pharmacists are here to help.

The information provided is for personal use, reference and education only and is not intended to be a substitute for a physician’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific information on personal health matters.

This information included in this recording is correct as of November 10th, 2020.