Kevin Bozymski, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences
Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy
Teresa Elsobky, PharmD, BCPP
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice
Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy
It was another successful year for many of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) Student Chapters across the country. One can't help but be impressed with the level of involvement, dedication, and motivation that the students demonstrate within (and beyond) their respective Chapters. This past academic year students implemented different initiatives to further the mission of CPNP of advancing the reach and practice of psychiatric pharmacy and serve as the voice of the specialty.
During the 2017-2018 academic year, the total number of CPNP Student Chapters grew from 33 to an impressive 40 chapters. Over 80 student chapter members attended the 2018 CPNP Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN, and at least 22 posters were presented from these chapter members. Two students also presented their research via platform presentations at the Annual Meeting. Chapter members also presented their research via poster presentations at other national meetings, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Annual Poster Symposium.
It is evident that chapters sought to strengthen the psychiatric and neurologic pharmacy knowledge of their members. Students hosted “Lunch and Learn” events and trivia nights about psychiatric conditions and medications. Many chapters also hosted panels and roundtable discussions of psychiatric pharmacists, as well as health care professionals from local mental health facilities that some chapters were able to tour firsthand. A few student members took this mental health field exposure to the next level, attending educational events such as the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) National Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and gaining additional certificates like Mental Health First Aid, the Arizona Pharmacy Association (AzPA) Psychiatric Certificate Program, and naloxone training through the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition.
More often than not, chapters extended these educational activities to the entire student body on their respective campuses, in addition to providing different services and awareness campaigns. Most chapters were involved in health fairs or weeks that included opportunities to screen for and educate on depression/suicide, eating disorders, and alcohol use disorder. Several chapters also sought to tackle stigma through panels of patients living with mental illness, movie nights, and simulation activities. At least 7 chapters promoted emotional health on their campuses around final exam weeks, including stress management activities, therapy dog visits, and wellness seminars.
Finally, chapter members made notable efforts to reach the public about mental health outside of their colleges and universities. Student members participated in at least 35 different charitable walks and runs for organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Alzheimer’s Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Parkinson’s Foundation. Many volunteered their time at free clinics, homeless shelters, addiction recovery homes, and long-term nursing facilities, allowing for an immeasurable number of opportunities for disease state screening, medication education, safe drug disposal, and access to a variety of health care services, such as insurance coverage, vaccinations, and naloxone training/distribution. Much like with their collegiate community, chapters also emphasized emotional health in these settings through initiatives such as making cards for veterans, creating art with positive messages, and running support groups.
CPNP chapters strove to provide meaningful mental health education and awareness to members of their campuses and communities, as well as to serve them both through a diverse range of outreach activities. The students were also committed to advancing their own knowledge of psychiatric pharmacy and this often underserved patient population. The Student Committee would like to thank our student members for their dedication to our profession, and we greatly look forward to learning what they will accomplish in the 2018-2019 academic year!