Meadow Mews Pharmacy owner Serena Hayward is among the first in a group of about 100 pharmacists to benefit from a groundbreaking partnership between Primary Health Tasmania and the Black Dog Institute.
Mrs Hayward recently took part in a suicide prevention training workshop for pharmacists.
In recognition of the role of pharmacists and their accessibility in the community, the training is being rolled out to help professionals like Mrs Hayward recognise the signs and symptoms of suicide and keep people safe until more support is available.
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Mrs Hayward said the training left her feeling more equipped to offer effective support to customers in distress.
"It really increased our skills and confidence in talking to people that appear to be distressed," she said.
"We can reach out when we need help to support these people."
Mrs Hayward said given the challenges Tasmanians have confronted in 2020, the training could not have come at a better time.
"We had bushfires and people's houses burnt down, then we had floods and now we've got a pandemic with the COVID-19," she said.
"The momentum of regular living now is really in a disruptive stage.
"Schools shut down, the children are staying at home doing online learning and that interaction 24/7 in certain homes will cause disruption. Coupled with that people are losing their jobs, they're in financial stress and if you own a business and you're forced to shut down you're in distress."
According to Mrs Hayward, the training taught her there was no one size fits all approach to interacting with a person in distress.
"The training upskilled us to be able to help people and refer them on to their GP," she said.
"We can also link them up to services like Black Dog Institute, BeyondBlue and Lifeline.
"There's also a Suicide Call Back Service."
Primary Health Tasmania spokeswoman Martina Wyss said the training formed part of initiatives rolled out alongside a national suicide prevention trial being undertaken at three sites in Tasmania.
"Pharmacists are seen as approachable and are well respected service providers in the community," Ms Wyss said.
"Their regular interactions and often long-standing relationships with various members of the community can yield vital information about people's lives and wellbeing."
Janey McGoldrick, the head of implementation at the Black Dog Institute, said the training would help pharmacists reach out to customers in need and offer best practice advice and support.
"Many pharmacists seek their own training in this area but now there will be sector-wide advice and skills on offer," Ms McGoldrick said.
"We want to support them and their whole team to feel confident they can offer the best help possible."
The training workshops have been supported by The Pharmaceutical Society Australia, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Curtin University.
More training workshops will be offered to Tasmanian pharmacists at the end of August and in early September.