Caring for your mental health: a simple checklist from CarePlus Pharmacy

As World Mental Health Day approaches on October 10, CarePlus Pharmacy is taking an innovative approach to encourage open conversations about mental health within the community. This year, their focus aligns perfectly with the World Health Organisation's theme for 2023, "Mental Health is a Universal Human Right." In partnership with positive mental health advocate and writer Daragh Fleming, CarePlus Pharmacy is offering a simple yet effective mental health checklist to help individuals better understand and address their mental well-being.

Daragh Fleming, a passionate advocate for mental health, knows first-hand the challenges of dealing with depression and panic attacks. He now dedicates his efforts to eliminating the stigma surrounding these topics and has created a straightforward checklist for people to use as a starting point when they're feeling down or out of balance. Daragh explains, "It's a basic process but really effective. If I'm having an off day, I go through this list, and quite often something will click, and I'll realise maybe that I've neglected my sleep routine or haven't got enough exercise. Small changes like that can actually impact my mood very quickly, so it's helpful to be able to recognise them."

Daragh's checklist covers several key areas:

  • Exercise: Ensure you are getting enough physical activity. A brisk walk can be highly effective in lifting and maintaining your mood.
  • Sleep: Pay attention to the quantity and quality of your sleep. Most experts recommend 7 to 8 hours a night, so set up a routine and stick to it.
  • Hydration: Are you properly hydrated? Keep a glass or bottle of water by your side and aim to take in a couple of litres a day.
  • Time for yourself: Have you had a chance to switch off recently? Self-care is essential for maintaining good mental health.
  • Social life: Have you connected with friends or engaged in group activities lately? Social interactions play a vital role in our mental well-being.
  • Activities that bring joy: Identify and engage in activities that bring you joy. Whether it's going to the cinema, swimming, meditation, or journaling, make time for what makes you happy.

Daragh believes that running through this checklist can help individuals identify the root causes of feeling off balance for a few days. "It's a basic collection of topics that you can gauge for yourself and might enable you to take steps to feel better," he says. Some people even find it helpful to set the checklist as the screensaver on their phone or laptop to prompt them to stay on top of these important self-care aspects.

Aisling Smith, Head of Business Relationship Management at Navi Group, the parent company of CarePlus Pharmacy, emphasizes the significance of mental health awareness. "We wanted to play our part in making it easier to have mental health conversations and get the word out that community pharmacists are always there to discuss any concerns our customers might have, in confidence," she notes. CarePlus Pharmacy is delighted to collaborate with Daragh Fleming in breaking down the barriers around mental health discussions, with his checklist being an excellent starting point.

For the entire month of October, CarePlus Pharmacy is sharing content created with Daragh on their Instagram account, which you can follow at @carepluspharmacy. Additionally, their website,, offers valuable advice on a wide range of healthcare topics, including mental health.

As we approach World Mental Health Day, let's remember that taking care of our mental health is a universal human right. By using Daragh Fleming's checklist, you can take a step towards a healthier and happier you.