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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 have overcome the challenges of quarantine and continue to display dedication to further promoting neuropsychiatric pharmacy services nationally!

Making a Local Impact

Fifty-five CPNP student chapters submitted reports documenting their efforts during the 2020-2021 academic year. It has been a year that has seen many changes, but student pharmacists continue to impact their schools/college through their involvement. Among the chapters, 11 chapters had student pharmacists present during the annual meeting in addition to other national and local meetings.

As the pandemic has brought a rise in rates of depression and anxiety, many chapters have focused on helping to provide mental health awareness education to the community. Chapters participated in awareness walks, numerous mental health fairs, created mental health awareness brochures and presented at local schools. Five chapters helped to facilitate Mental Health First Aid or QRP (Question, Persuade, and Refer) training for their respective colleges/universities, with an additional three chapters participating in the Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk.

With the academic year presenting in an hybrid fashion, more than half of the student chapters focused on bringing in experts in various areas of psychiatric and neurologic pharmacy. Among the topics addressed by these speakers were trauma informed care, child loss awareness, career path opportunities, pharmacogenomics, interprofessional communication, mental health in the justice system, racial disparities and so much more. Several chapters also chose to focus on mental rest and resetting, providing relaxation rooms, mediation sessions or yoga classes with one chapter committing to Wellness Wednesdays.

Substance use disorders continue to be a targeted focus of many CPNP student chapters. Seven chapters helped organize and deliver naloxone training to their respective colleges as well as participated in naloxone distribution programs, with one chapter facilitating the distribution of naloxone to the local homeless community. One chapter promoted education regarding substance disorders by partnering with a sober living high school. Additionally, this chapter had several members attend an on-site substance use disorder treatment program through the Hazelden Betty Ford Center. 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.

Creative Fundraising

Chapter fundraising was again an opportunity for creative expression for many chapters this past year. CPNP student chapters displayed their culinary skills through bake sales, while others engaged in activities like “Movember”- a fun game night for pharmacy students to de-stress. Shirts, lapel pins, mugs and tumblers were all utilized to simultaneously raise money while raising awareness for mental health. Other chapters helped to raise funds for local NAMI organizations. Nearly all student chapters showcased their chapter to increase membership and expose additional pharmacy students to psychiatric pharmacists through professional organization fairs at their respective campuses and other socializing events.

Despite the challenges that continue to present throughout the pandemic, CPNP student chapters continue to find innovative ways to educate their peers and respective communities about mental health disorders and the importance of general wellbeing. The Student Committee is excited to see what the future holds for the rising neuropsychiatric pharmacists. We are looking forward to the 2021-2022 academic year!

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