The Ontario Pharmacy Health Program (OPHP) is a voluntary program available to all registrants of the College who are experiencing challenges with their mental health and/or substance use. The goal is to support you to practice safely, strengthen your overall stability and well-being, and be engaged in your home life, family and community.
Here are four key things you should know:
1. There are many reasons why you might consider contacting OPHP.
Some of the reasons you might reach out to the OPHP include:
- You are struggling with your mental health or substance use.
- Your normal mental health supports are not as effective, or you need new supports.
- You need help navigating the mental health system.
- Your mental health or substance use is affecting your relationships, work or ability to engage in day-to-day activities.
You can always call 1-844-931-0007 to discuss whether OPHP might be right for you before committing to the program. No referral is needed.
2. OPHP is designed to address the unique needs of pharmacy professionals.
OPHP is an evidence-based program that is specifically designed for pharmacy professionals and has been modelled from similar health programs for nurses and physicians. It is funded by the College and administered by Lifemark Health.
You can expect:
- support from an interdisciplinary team that specializes in mental health and addiction services;
- identification of programs/services, in partnership with your current treatment team, that may address gaps in your current care/supports and strengthen your overall stability and well-being;
- structured and ongoing check ins to ensure that you remain supported in your recovery; and
- assistance with the development of stay at work or return to work plans.
When you first contact OPHP, you will speak to their intake team who will provide you with information about the program and can also send you a list of general mental health and substance use resources.
If you are interested in participating in the program, the OPHP intake team will collect your information and provide you with the necessary paperwork to get started. You will then be connected to a case manager who will help guide the next steps.
3. The identity of registrants who access OPHP directly is not shared with the College.
OPHP does not share the names or conditions of registrants who access OPHP directly with the College.
Occasionally, registrants may enroll with OPHP as part of a College proceeding or investigation, such as a health inquiry, which is an established process for when the Registrar believes a registrant may be incapacitated. In such circumstances, information would only be shared with the College by OPHP with the consent of the registrant.
4. The College fully supports registrants to access the resources they need to practice in a safe manner.
When pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are dealing with mental health and substance use challenges, including addiction, anxiety, depression or other conditions, the College’s goal is to support individuals to access the resources they need so that they can practice in a safe manner.
In some cases, self-referring to OPHP may help prevent the initiation of a health inquiry or other formal processes with the College by supporting you directly to address your health or substance use challenge before it affects your practice.
The College has an obligation to protect patients and ensure registrants are practicing safely, and, as part of that commitment, we want registrants to get the help they need to be healthy. It is in the public’s best interest that registrants are given an opportunity to access this support.