Kevin Bozymski, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences
Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy
College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) Student Chapters continue to demonstrate a high level of involvement in and dedication to neuropsychiatric pharmacy services across the country.
Forty-four CPNP Student Chapters submitted reports documenting their efforts during the 2018-2019 academic year; this does not include the 8 additional Student Chapters that have been announced since March 2019. Over 130 student chapter members attended the 2019 CPNP Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, and at least 20 posters were presented by these chapter members. Student chapter members’ research was also presented at regional and national meetings, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP).
The opioid epidemic, suicide awareness/prevention, and wellbeing were major focus points for CPNP Student Chapters this past academic year. At least 10 chapters were involved with naloxone training and/or distribution to both their college campuses and local communities, often in collaboration with other organizations like GenerationRx. A few chapters also spent significant time volunteering or fundraising for addiction recovery centers, organizing movie screenings and Q&A events about addiction, and/or gaining additional training by sending chapter members to the APhA National Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Similarly, at least 12 chapters helped organize suicide prevention training (e.g., QPR, Mental Health First Aid), with many others hosting events focused on mindfulness and nonpharmacologic stress management strategies like meditation, yoga, art/music therapy, and even do-it-yourself tea/face masks! Nearly one-fifth of chapters had a presence at their local American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Out of the Darkness Walk.
Beyond these overarching campaigns, student chapters were busy fighting stigma and demonstrating the potential role of pharmacists in mental health care. At least one-third of chapters hosted representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), brought in speakers living with mental illness through the NAMI In Our Own Voice Program, or participated in their local NAMI Walk. Many others had a presence at local health fairs, offering depression screenings, schizophrenia and dementia simulations, and posters on various mental health topics. Some chapters also extended their efforts to pediatric populations with bullying prevention activities. Finally, nearly every student chapter sought to expose their membership (and often college campus at large) to psychiatric pharmacists and other professionals through panels and onsite tours of mental health facilities.
CPNP Student Chapters were able to develop and lead educational events and training on contemporary mental health issues while serving those in recovery from substance use and other mental illness. They also found unique ways to connect with practicing mental health professionals, inspiring the next generation of psychiatric pharmacists. The Student Committee is extremely proud of our student members for their dedication to our patients and profession, and we are eager to see what they will accomplish during the 2019-2020 academic year!