Brenda Schimenti, CPNP and CPNP Foundation Executive Director
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. The collaboration of CPNP, the CPNP Foundation, and NAMI is a partnership that is making a difference for patients and caregivers.
CPNP Founding members Gene Makela and Charlie Caley introduced NAMI and CPNP in the early 2000’s, and a partnership was born. A partnership that also involves the CPNP Foundation with its complementary mission of furthering and providing patient access to evidence-based treatment.
History aside, the results of this partnership are impressive. Simply put….
NAMI + CPNP + CPNP Foundation = Progress
And this is what progress looks like:
- Informed Consumers and Caregivers: NAMI has a long-standing history of providing up-to-date, accurate and non-biased information on psychotropic medications. Through a partnership with CPNP, NAMI has taken steps to make sure this information is expertly reviewed. The medication information we provide is written by CPNP members serving on the Medication Fact Sheet Editorial Board. It is written for individuals with mental illness and their families to help them access and be knowledgeable about their medications.
- Educated Consumers and Caregivers: Each year CPNP members/Foundation donors participate in the NAMI National Conference attended by thousands of patients and caregivers. Members answer medication questions at the Ask the Psychiatric Pharmacist booth, provide workshops on topics related to adherence, side-effects, and other important topics, and demonstrate to patients and caregivers the value the pharmacist brings to the treatment team. This year CPNP members Karen Moeller, PharmD, BCPP, and Brantley Underwood, PharmD, MBA, presented a workshop entitled “Technology and Medications: Making Technology a Snap to Enhance Medication Outcomes.” Drs. Moeller and Underwood addressed how to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of websites and mobile applications, how to review websites and mobile applications to obtain information on medications and adherence, and how to recognize security and safety issues when sharing personal data on websites and mobile applications.
- Research and Awareness: In 2012 the CPNP Foundation, in collaboration with NAMI, conducted an online survey of individuals with mental health conditions or family members about their interactions with their community pharmacists. Over 1,000 individuals responded to the survey, with 65 percent of respondents being individuals with a mental health condition. Eighty percent of all respondents reported that they exclusively used a community pharmacy to fill their prescriptions for mental health medications. Responses revealed several opportunities for improvement in the areas of access to pharmacists, privacy, professional relationship-building, and increased monitoring for effectiveness and safety of mental health medications. The survey report suggested key directions for Foundation efforts, such as development of a mental health community pharmacy directory and a stigma survey, both to be conducted in the Fall of 2015.
- Fundraising: The CPNP Foundation conducts a NAMI Walk/Run fundraiser at each CPNP Annual Meeting. This NAMI Walk is unique in that it is the only NAMI Walk conducted in conjunction with a national association meeting. To date, attendees and CPNP have provided over $35,000 to NAMI to support consumer and caregiver education.
Chuck Harman, long-time National Director of Strategic Alliances and Development for NAMI, who has helped foster and further this partnership every step of the way, had the following to share about the partnership:
“We are extremely grateful to CPNP and the CPNP Foundation for its many years of service to NAMI. CPNP members are regarded as trusted professionals who combine exemplary clinical knowledge and skills with compassion and understanding. CPNP and its members have always gone the “extra mile” for NAMI. Our collaboration with CPNP is one of the most meaningful partnerships that we have, and one that has made a significant difference in the lives of people living with mental illness and their families.”
NAMI + CPNP + CPNP Foundation = A Partnership that Makes a Difference