From serving as College of Pharmacy representatives on NEOMED’s Mental Health Committee to partnering with NAMI Portage County for several events throughout the year, members of NEOMED’s College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists student chapter cover all things psychiatric pharmacy.
Autumn Walkerly, a co-founder and past president of the NEOMED student chapter of CPNP, shares why she’s so passionate about this student organization.
Tell us about CPNP.
AW: The vision of CPNP is a world where all individuals living with mental illness, including those with substance use and neurologic disorders, receive safe, appropriate and effective treatment. Our mission is to advance the reach and practice of psychiatric pharmacy and serve as the voice of the specialty.
As a student leader of the organization, I believe our role in this mission is to identify those interested in psychiatric and neurologic disorders and provide them with opportunities to learn more about the profession; get involved with education on mental illness; and give back to the community and those with mental illness. Our organization is also here to provide professional development opportunities that will prepare students for a career in psychiatric or neurologic pharmacy.
Is CPNP a nationwide organization?
AW: Yes! When we started our chapter in 2016, we were one of 13 CPNP student chapters. CPNP now supports 47 student chapters across the country.
In your opinion, why should students join NEOMED’s chapter of CPNP?
AW: Even if a student isn't sure of what their post-graduate plans are, or what area of pharmacy they would like to practice in, I believe CPNP provides many opportunities for leadership development, personal and professional growth. It allows students to give and become advocates for an underserved population that is absolutely deserving of our support.
What has CPNP been up to the past year?
AW: Every year, CPNP participates in a number of events with NAMI Portage County, including its Walk for Recovery – an awareness walk supporting people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.
We also held several events on campus, such as student psychiatry topic presentations and webinars sponsored by PsychU, an organization of mental health care professionals who are dedicated to improving the future of mental health care through information, discussion and collaboration. We also co-sponsored "Brain Week" with the Psychiatry Interest Group and Neurology Interest Group, which consisted of a week of events around topics in psychiatry and neurology
In addition, CPNP hosted Mark Munetz, M.D., The Margaret Clark Morgan Chair in Psychiatry, and Sara Dugan, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice and associate professor of psychiatry, to discuss their careers and the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in the care of patients with mental illness. CPNP also welcomed two patients to discuss their stories of recovery and maintaining their health with multiple sclerosis and bipolar disorder.
More plans are in the works!