Pharmacies offering mental health services: Discuss!

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I have been reading with interest about how national chain pharmacies have started to offer mental health services: Therapy on Aisle 7 (NY Times, 5/7/21), CVS to Offer In-Store Mental Health Counseling (NPR, 4/29/21). While some pharmacies, such as CVS, are offering in-store or virtual mental health counseling, other pharmacies, such as Walgreens, connect customers to third-party therapy providers.

These recent developments could be fodder for some very interesting class discussions or a stand-alone assignment following your coverage of psychotherapy. Here are some possible questions.

What are some reasons that pharmacies, like CVS, may be interested in offering mental health services?

Identify at least 3 positive things about pharmacies offering mental health services.

Identify at least 3 concerns you may have about pharmacies offering mental health services.

As one should when hiring anyone to provide any kind of service, what questions should you ask in your first meeting? This New York Times article, Therapy on Aisle 7 (5/7/21), offers some suggestions. For more questions you may want to ask, visit the How to Choose a Psychologist page on the American Psychological Association website.

Once you have your list of questions to ask, for each question identify at least one answer you would want to hear and at least one answer you would not want to hear.

Would you, personally, go to a pharmacy for mental health services? Why or why not?

What other kinds of places might people quickly and easily access mental health services if they were available?

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About the Author
Sue Frantz has taught psychology since 1992. She has served on several APA boards and committees, and was proud to serve the members of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as their 2018 president. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. She received in 2016 the highest award for the teaching of psychology--the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award. She presents nationally and internationally on the topics of educational technology and the pedagogy of psychology. She is co-author with Doug Bernstein and Steve Chew of Teaching Psychology: A Step-by-Step Guide, 3rd ed. and is co-author with Charles Stangor on Introduction to Psychology, 4.0.