The impact of a mental health course elective on student pharmacist attitudes.

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Publication Date


Publication Title

Curr Pharm Teach Learn


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A mental health first aid elective course was developed at a four-year doctor of pharmacy program. The objectives of the course were to de-stigmatize the attitudes of enrolled student pharmacists and provide tools to triage and manage mental health crises. The purpose of this work is to investigate the impact of a newly developed mental health first aid elective course.

EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY AND SETTING: Student pharmacists enrolled in a two-credit mental health first aid elective course and electronically completed the Opening Minds Scale for Health Care Providers (OMS-HC) pre-course, post-course, and months post-course to quantitatively measure changes in attitudes around stigma in various domains. Students also submitted a guided reflection post-course to collect self-perceived changes in attitudes. The reflection evaluated the changes in perceptions, confidence, and willingness to practice mental health first aid.

FINDINGS: Forty-second and third-year student pharmacists participated and 31 were included in the pre-protocol analysis for pre- and post-course paired comparisons. Improvements in the OMS-HC domains of "disclosure and help-seeking" and "attitudes of health care providers" at post-course were observed. Self-reflections submitted post-course supported the quantitative analysis results of the OMS-HC scores. Improvements were noted in attitudes towards individuals with mental health disorders and in confidence and willingness to initiate conversations on mental health.

SUMMARY: The implementation of a mental health first aid elective course positively influenced student pharmacists' attitudes on mental health and improved confidence and willingness to provide mental health related interventions.

Clinical Institute

Mental Health


Behavioral Health