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Lindsey Miller, PharmD, BCPP
Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy
Nashville, Tennessee

College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) Student Chapters overcome the challenges of quarantine and continue to display dedication to further promoting psychiatric pharmacy services nationally!

Visibility at National Meetings: Fifty-three CPNP student chapters submitted reports documenting their efforts during the 2019-2020 academic year. Student pharmacists continue to have a strong presence at the 2020 CPNP Annual Meeting with nearly 850 students registering for CPNP 2020 thanks to complimentary registration provided through the CPNP Foundation. Among the chapters, 10 chapters had student pharmacists present posters during the annual meeting. Additionally, student chapter members were able to showcase their research in other national meetings, including the 2019 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Meeting (APhA) and Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Annual Meeting, in addition to local and regional meetings.

Suicide Awareness: With suicide being the tenth leading cause of death in the United States in 2018, many chapters have focused on helping to provide mental health awareness education to the community. Chapters participated in projects like rock painting events, which focused on spreading messages of hope. Ten chapters participated in the “Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk” to promote suicide awareness and nine chapters had members attend Mental Health First Aid training or help to facilitate the event for their respective campus. Another chapter co-sponsored Suicide: The Ripple Effect, in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of overall mental wellbeing.

Mental Wellbeing: Student chapters also highlighted the importance of overall mental wellbeing to their student pharmacist colleagues and surrounding community. Two chapters sponsored sensory or relaxation rooms during exam blocks/finals. Another chapter created wellness challenges for the college to complete on a monthly basis, with another chapter providing therapy dogs on campus for students to enjoy during stressful times. Further, over 20 chapters participated in various walks to help promote mental health awareness, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness Walk (NAMI).

OUD and Mental Health: The opioid epidemic and general health fair screenings were also a major focus points for CPNP student chapters this academic year. Nearly 10 chapters participated in educating the public about the opioid epidemic. This occurred through opioid and naloxone presentations at mental health community centers, Narcan training programs, distribution of naloxone kits and working with a local organization through their naloxone clinic. More than 20% of chapters participated in a health fair or mental health screening during the year, helping to bring awareness to the community while reducing stigma.

Giving: Chapter fundraising was a time for creative expression for many chapters this past year. Chapters displayed their culinary skills through bake sales in addition to providing destressing kits, holiday-grams and valentines to other student pharmacists. Other chapters helped to raise funds for local NAMI organizations and homeless centers through various bake sales, walks and apparel sales. Nearly all student chapters showcased their chapter to increase membership and expose additional pharmacy students to neuropsychiatric pharmacists through professional organization fairs at their respective campuses and other socializing events.

Educating: CPNP student chapters continue to provide a robust learning environment for their fellow student colleagues by sponsoring a multitude of speakers. Over half of the student chapters brought in speakers for their meetings, including speakers from the NAMI In Our Own Voice program, clinical psychiatric and neurologic pharmacists, current PGY2 psychiatric pharmacy residents, pharmacists in recovery, Generation Rx and social workers in an effort to educate their peers.

Student chapters continue to find innovative ways to bring mental health issues to light. The Student Committee is excited to see what the future holds for these future psychiatric pharmacists. 

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