The time has come for psychiatric pharmacy to set in writing and publicly declare our principles, beliefs, and intentions with this psychiatric pharmacy manifesto. The word manifesto comes from the Latin word manifestum, which means clear or conspicuous. For some, the word manifesto carries a negative connotation since it has more recently been associated with revolution or violent social change. But used to its true purpose, it is where we can speak our mind, and publicly and clearly declare our intentions and beliefs to those within and outside our profession.

Psychiatric pharmacy has a long history, starting with our own national meetings of “mental health pharmacists” in the early 1970s, a Special Interest Group (SIG) on Mental Health Pharmacy within ASHP in the mid-1970s, recognition of the specialty of psychiatric pharmacy by Board of Pharmacy Specialties in 1992, and the founding of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) in 1998. With more than 40 years in the making, psychiatric pharmacy is certainly ready to clearly and publicly state our principles, beliefs, and ambitions.

There are several items that deserve mention as you read this manifesto. It was a very purposeful decision that the priority of our specialty is our commitment to patient care. We value our relationship with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which enables us to further enhance medication education and successful treatment outcomes. However, this is not the time for us to rest on laurels, as the future holds much promise and potential for us and for the patients we serve.

This manifesto serves several other purposes. It will address the question from your colleagues, other mental health disciplines, and administrators who commonly ask, “What is a psychiatric pharmacist?” Additionally, on a more personal level, it will also explain to friends and family what you really do.

The psychiatric pharmacy manifesto represents the collective work of many individuals. The CPNP Past Presidents' Council reviewed and provided input on 3 draft versions, and the final draft manifesto was sent to the CPNP membership for input and comment. A total of 48 members offered 7 pages of single-spaced comments, which were read and incorporated as much as possible into this final document. We hope you will embrace this manifesto as a statement of your professional beliefs and principles, and will find it useful as you interact with your colleagues. CPNP will maintain the manifesto as a living document, with periodic review and revisions.