International recognition for Pharmacy student awarded FIP grant for Professional Innovation 2009

29 September 2009

International recognition for Pharmacy student awarded FIP grant for Professional Innovation 2009.
International recognition for Pharmacy student awarded FIP grant for Professional Innovation 2009.

Claire O'Reilly has just been awarded the Young Pharmacists Group (YPG) Grant for Professional Innovation 2009. The announcement was made by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Board of Directors during the FIP Congress in Istanbul, Turkey which ran from 3rd to the 8th September 2009.

Claire is currently a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Pharmacy. Her area of research explores improving mental health services provided through community pharmacy and developing and evaluating new training and education programs for pharmacists and pharmacy students in the area of mental health.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to receive this award" she says. The grant includes 1000 euro to support her research as well as a trip to next years FIP congress in Lisbon to report on her project. "The grant will be used to develop an e-learning program to reduce mental health stigma".

This is Claire's 3rd year attending the FIP conference as a member of the FIP YPG. Her project "Reducing Mental Health Stigma: Development of an E-learning Programme for Pharmacists follows on from research being carried out at Sydney Uni which shows that the use of mental health consumer educators in pharmacy education decreases mental health stigma, and improves attitudes and self-reported behaviour in relation to mental illness.

"Developing an e-learning program based on this research will allow this to be implemented on a national and possibly international level" says Claire.

The project is consistent with the World Health Organisation's Mental Health Gap Action Program launched in October 2008 and the goals of the WHO-UNESCO-FIP Pharmacy Education Taskforce.

Claire is a recipient of a National Health and Medical Research Council Public Health Postgraduate Scholarship 2008-2010 and is an accredited instructor in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a course that teaches people how to support someone in a mental health crisis situation or someone who is developing a mental disorder.

Claire is the second University of Sydney recipient of the award. Dr Rebekah Moles, lecturer in Pharmacy Practice at the Faculty was awarded the grant in 2006. Dr Moles completed her PhD in the area of Private Hospital Pharmacy Services.

Almost 3000 pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, academics, researchers, students and guests attended the congress with the central theme and question: Responsibility for Patient Outcomes - are you ready? Over 400 of these were in the Young Pharmacists Category (i.e. under 35 and graduated within the last five years) and attending for the first time.

Conference organisers commented on attendance saying "This is a tremendous response from the international young pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists and it is hoped that these first-timers continue to join us in years ahead, bringing with them a growing number of new participants'.

For more information on the International Pharmacists Federation see

Contact: Claire Riordan

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 53313b25232c310311072931050b1c0f3801266f2815116d3411