Heidi Wehring, PharmD, BCPP
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Despite their busy course loads, CPNP Student Chapter members and their faculty advisors found time to contribute to the CPNP mission of advancing the reach and practice of psychiatric pharmacy as a means to optimize outcomes for individuals living with psychiatric, substance use, and neurologic disorders. Members of CPNP student chapters spent the past year learning, volunteering, and teaching others about vital aspects of psychiatric health.
During the 2016-2017 year, the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists Student Chapter roster expanded to 33 active chapters, encompassing a total of 665 members. At least 60 student chapter members attended the 2017 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. Student chapter members also participated in and presented research findings; seventeen different chapters report that at least one poster was presented at either the CPNP or another conference within the past year.
Student chapters worked both on and off campus to offer outreach and volunteer time and resources to their surrounding communities. On campus, CPNP student chapters raised suicide awareness, provided stress relief tips and depression screenings, offered educational activities to their fellow students, and spoke to their campus cohorts about topics such as ADHD, depression, Tourette’s, eating disorders, stress management, prescription drug abuse, gender dysphoria, burnout, suicidality. CPNP Student chapters also collaborated with other pharmacy and health-science student organizations such as nursing and medicine to co-host programming and outreach related to mental health on and off campus.
In the surrounding communities, student chapters participated in 20 health fairs or symposia, offering screenings, information, and education on topics such as depression, naltrexone, physical health monitoring, insomnia, dementia, and medication education. Chapter members also reached out to youth in their catchment areas, with several chapters providing information about pharmacy as a career to high schoolers for seven different “Career Day” activities as well as participating in STEM fairs, and a K-6 mentoring program.
Over the past year, chapters participated in over 26 charitable events such as walks/runs and other fundraisers to benefit such issues as overdose, suicide awareness, NAMI, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases, Down Syndrome, men’s mental health, and homelessness. Students volunteered at shelters, gave talks at group homes and participated in medication education groups.
CPNP Chapters have provided excellent programming opportunities to their student members throughout the past year, including hallucination simulations, film screenings, and guest speakers such as nurse practitioners, child psychiatrists, NAMI members, and psychiatric pharmacists. Chapters also offered their members the opportunity to shadow a psychiatric pharmacist, a site visit to a community behavioral health services site, and recreational field trips as well as psychiatry journal/book clubs.
The student members of CPNP Chapters have worked diligently to introduce their fellow students to psychiatric pharmacy, provide valuable educational programming to their own membership, their fellow students, and the greater communities in which they train. These motivated student pharmacists contribute to numerous organizations and foundations that benefit those who strive towards improved psychiatric health. The CPNP Community would like to recognize these exceptional accomplishments and looks forward to hearing about Chapter activities throughout this year.