Evidence-Based Prescribing of Common Mental Health Medication

Non-Medical Prescribing Update Training

1 day

Up to 35 delegates

The Course Aim 

1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in any one year with mixed anxiety and depression being the most common. Insomnia has been reported approximately 1 in 6 of adults being more common in women, older people and those with concurrent physical or mental health conditions. During the day we will explore common mental health presentations and the drugs used to treat them.


Learning outcomes 

By the end of the session participants should be able to:
• Discuss the prevalence of common mental health conditions in the UK
• Understand the BNF drug groups used to treat mental health conditions and their basic pharmacology
• Understand the basics of evidence-base medicine (EBM) and how to apply this to prescribing mental health medication using relevant clinical guidelines and diagnostic tools
• Describe the importance of drug interactions associated with mental-health medication and how to apply this to your practice


Course content 

• Overview of the impact and prevalence of mental health conditions in the UK
• What are the basic BNF drug groups and how do they work?
• What is EBM and why is it important when prescribing drugs to treat mental health conditions?
• What do the current guidelines advise about prescribing common mental health medication?
• What diagnostic tools are available to support me as an NMP and how do I use them?
• How relevant are drug interactions to me and my patient?


Graham Parsons has been a practicing pharmacist since 1991 after graduating from the University of Bath in 1990. After working in a variety of community pharmacy roles, Graham started working in the Plymouth Substance Misuse Service in 2003 and joined NHS Plymouth in 2005 as a specialist substance misuse medicines management advisor. In 2007 Graham became a prescriber within the Plymouth Addiction Service after completing his prescribing certificate and was appointed a Pharmacist with Special Interest in Substance Misuse by Plymouth teaching Primary Care Trust in 2009.

In 2010 Graham was appointed to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) for a three-year term.  After a brief period of time between 2013 and 2015 working as a clinical pharmacist and prescriber in a number of GP Practices and a medicines optimisation pharmacist for NHS NEW Devon CCG, Graham returned to the Substance Misuse field as a Pharmacist with Turning Point in September 2015.  

Since 2015 Graham has worked on the medicines optimisation agenda within Turning Point and as a pharmacist prescriber.  He is now Chief Pharmacist for Turning Point.

On a personal level Graham enjoys football and studying and in 2016 completed a BA in History with the Open University. Graham has a wonderful family which is a major part of his life and, when not working or studying, where he can often be found on the North Cornwall coast at our holiday home in Perranporth.