Walgreens training staff in mental health first aid

Zoe Greszler • May 30, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Walgreens is training its pharmacists to assist with mental healthcare.

As some of the most accessible health care providers in the community, pharmacists can play an important role in helping to address the growing need for mental health resources. With May being Mental Health Month in the United States, the drug store chain announced a unique collaboration with the National Council for Behavioral Health and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to provide mental health first aid training for certain Walgreens pharmacists and team members.

While this feature hasn’t been extended locally, the opportunity for the training to expand is possible, officials said. Through the effort, and with the store’s support, mental health first aid training eventually could become available to any pharmacist.

Participants are trained in mental health literacy, risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns and strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

Walgreens will begin the training with certain pharmacy staff members, including those focused on health outcomes. As part of the company’s growing commitment to workplace mental health and wellness, it is also working with the national nouncil to train more than 300 Walgreens team members within human resources in mental health first aid.

“With the growing need for services and resources to help those living with mental health conditions, as well as substance use and addiction, we can play an important role by giving our pharmacists and certain team members the training to help those who may be in crisis,” said Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

“We’re proud to further our commitment to improving the health and well being of our communities through this initiative and working with the National Council and APhA to continue an important dialogue around mental health and how we can help.”

The initiative further builds upon Walgreens’ digital platform and resources related to mental health, as well as the company’s efforts to curb opioid misuse and abuse, as more than 8 million U.S. adults are estimated to be living with a mental health condition or battling addiction to opioids or other substances.

Walgreens, the National Council and APhA will work closely  to tailor the training program, which will be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

“One in five people experiences a mental health or substance use issue in a given year and it’s likely that most of those individuals use a pharmacy’s services during that year,” said Betsy Schwartz, vice president of public education and strategic initiatives at the National Council.

In the workplace, Walgreens offers a wide variety of services through its free employee assistance program, including an allotment of behavioral health visits available at no cost for team members and their families. All Walgreens-sponsored medical and prescription drug plans also include comprehensive mental health care for eligible employees.

“The overall health of our 240,000 team members and their families is a top priority and as a company that champions health and well-being in our communities across the U.S., we strive to do everything we can as an employer to keep our workforce healthy, physically and mentally,” said Kristin Oliver, Walgreens senior vice president. “We’re proud to offer this training program to hundreds of employees within our human resources department, and through this collaboration, to give more of our workforce critical tools and skills to better serve our customers and our company.”


Phillip joins Firelands Partnership

Dan Phillip, president and founder of Transformation Network, was appointed to serve on the steering committee of Ohio’s Erie County Economic Development Corporation’s policy arm, The Firelands Partnership.

“We continue to be recognized on our twenty years of experience and results in changing the attraction, retention, and development needs of the communities we serve,” Phillip said.

“The Firelands Partnership opportunity is yet another example of how we’re asked to impact area workforce and economic development initiatives. My being called to serve on the steering committee for Firelands will enable us to offer another dimension to the conversation of the significance of talent, needs and action planning to create a regional culture for economic growth.”

The Firelands Regional Partnership is a broad coalition of business, education, and government leaders in North Central Ohio dedicated to advancing economic competitiveness and quality of life in the Firelands region.

The coalition embraced that concept and fostered a partnership between Huron, Erie, Sandusky and Ottawa counties to strengthen economic development by making the most of the comparative economic advantage of each of the counties.


Myers recognized for excellence

Scott Myers, ePro, broker of Mike Myers Realty, Inc. in Norwalk earned the Commitment to Excellence endorsement from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The endorsement goes to Realtors who have demonstrated knowledge and competency in 10 core areas of real estate practice.

These core areas include client service, professional reputation, real estate law, Realtor code of ethics, equal service to all, advocacy of real property ownership, trust and integrity, use of technology, data privacy and areas of practice.

Launched in November 2018, this innovative program sets the standard for what it means to be a professional in the real estate brokerage business.

As a broker, in addition to demonstrating competency in all 10 areas, Myers was required to show a commitment to creating and maintaining an environment that promotes excellent customer service consistent with these standards.

“Earning the Commitment to Excellence endorsement is a true accomplishment and an affirmation to consumers that you stand for ethics and professionalism in your work,” NAR President John Smaby said.

“Advances in technology and online user experience are making our business more and more seamless, and that’s fantastic. But with new technology can come vulnerabilities. A C2EX endorsement offers consumers the ease of mind that they have a skilled adviser, committed to conducting business at the highest standards, helping them through what may be the largest purchase or sale in their life.”


Nursing Home Week

NEW LONDON — The Laurels of New London celebrated Nursing Home Week by making every day special for the residents.

Monday was spa day, Tuesday was Beach Day, Wednesday was Hollywood Day and Thursday was Farm Day, which included exploring a tractor brought over by North Central Ag and a variety of animals the residents could pet and enjoy. Among these were a pony, a tom turkey, and several goats and donkeys.

Members of the Community, Life & Innovation volunteers group joined in with the fun, helping with the animals, visiting with residents and just generally having a good time.

Those sharing their animals were John McClaflin of McClaflin’s Mane & Tail Ranch, Gary Collins and Richard Burkett.

Valerie Houghtland, activities director at The Laurels, said everyone, residents and staff alike, enjoyed the opportunity to meet the animals and their owners, reminisce about pets they had once owned and appreciate the beautiful weather.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Reflector Correspondent Ellen Simmons contributed to this story.


If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email it to [email protected]

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