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The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) held their national convention Denver, July 6-9. CPNP members were once again involved in a variety of activities at the meeting including hosting a booth in the exhibit hall to increase awareness of psychiatric pharmacists and CPNP. Additionally, CPNP volunteers answered questions from consumers at the ever-popular “Ask the Psychiatric Pharmacist” booth in the exhibit hall.

Consumer Relations Committee Chair Julie Kissack reported “Denver temperatures were hot during the NAMI 2016 National Convention. The CPNP members including pharmacy students from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences warmly engaged in conversation with NAMI attendees who stopped by the booth. This year, posters were hung directly across from our booth. Thus, on Friday a high volume of NAMI participants stopped to chat with CPNP members during the luncheon poster session. Students reported excitement in having the opportunity to speak directly with consumers, family members and healthcare providers. Once again this year, it was a fulfilling collaborative experience. Many visitors at the booth were appreciative of the information they learned from CPNP members.”

The Consumer Relations Committee encourages all members to reach out to their local NAMI chapters to benefit consumers and NAMI chapters in a similar fashion to that accomplished at the NAMI National Convention. To facilitate that possibility in an easier fashion, the Consumer Relations Committee freely shares slides prepared for any CPNP provided workshops at the NAMI Annual Meeting. This year CPNP members Sheila Botts, PharmD, BCPP, FCCP, and Kristen Gardner, PharmD, presented a workshop entitled “Weighty Issues with Psychotropic Use in Adolescents and Young Adults.” Drs. Botts and Gardner provided participants with a clear understanding of how psychotropic medications can cause metabolic syndrome and lifestyle management techniques to manage these effects.

CPNP’s participation at NAMI would not have been possible without the help of numerous volunteers. Members providing their time and expertise as volunteers at the booth included: LaGenia Bailey, Sheila Botts, Kristen Gardner, Soeyoung Kim, Julie Kissack, Howard Kreisler, Jodie Malhotra, Michael Moro, Sherry Osceola, Grace Park, Rebecca Reiss, Jaimee Truong, and Rhonda Wong.

The NAMI 2017 Convention is scheduled for June 28-July 1, 2017, in Washington, DC. We hope you will consider participating in this event next year, especially if you are in or near Washington, DC.

Student volunteers Sherry Osceola and Michael Moro pose at the NAMI booth

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