Walgreens to train 27,000 pharmacists in mental health first aid

Walgreens is expanding mental health first aid training to 27,000 of its pharmacists, the company said Oct. 21.

The retail pharmacy giant introduced mental health first aid training in 2019, offering the training first to certain employees in its human resources department and later to some pharmacy staff. Walgreens is now beginning to expand the training for all its pharmacists, prioritizing its locations in areas most affected by the pandemic.

The program trains participants in mental health literacy, understanding risk factors and warning signs, and strategies for helping people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

"The majority of our patients and customers see their pharmacist more than they do any other healthcare provider, and especially now, pharmacists can play an even greater role with the additional training to help those who may be in crisis," said Rick Gates, Walgreens' senior vice president of pharmacy. "The pandemic has exacerbated what was already widely considered to be a mental health crisis, and we're proud to further our commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of our communities by taking additional steps through these and other initiatives."


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