“Tell me about what it is that you do professionally.” This question is notorious for rendering speechless even the most raconteur-like of pharmacists. I often feel that I do not do a great job with the “elevator speech” describing what we are about professionally. “So you work in a drugstore inside a psychiatric hospital?”… “Well, not exactly, but…” . As a group, clinical pharmacists have great difficulty relating effectively to others what it is that we do. This difficulty clearly extends to specialty practice areas, such as psychiatric and neurologic pharmacy practitioners.

Recognizing this barrier to effectively communicating to those outside the profession, the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists has taken action in a variety of ways. Organizational attempts to address this matter have included the development of several excellent videos outlining different aspects of what it means to be a psychiatric pharmacist, publication of a white paper outlining CPNP's endorsement and the importance of PGY2 level specialty residency training, and a constantly evolving website replete with our mission and values, strategic plan, and a variety of psychiatric pharmacist FAQs. These tools are all part of what was a great first step to begin to bridge the depths of the “effective communication gap” and to better enable us to speak clearly to outsiders regarding psychiatric pharmacy practice.

It is with a keen sense of pride that I report to you that a leap forward has just been completed in capturing who we are, what is important to us, and where we want to go in the future as psychiatric pharmacy practitioners. In this month's Mental Health Clinician, the yeoman's work of the Past President's Council is showcased. Led by Dr. Glen Stimmel in this effort, this group of seasoned visionaries has crafted the “Psychiatric Pharmacist Manifesto”, a document that I believe will strike a chord with CPNP members as it succinctly captures the essence of psychiatric pharmacy, what it means to us, to the patients and families we serve, as well as the healthcare system of which we are an integral component. The manifesto will serve us well as a touchstone of our specialty area as we move to educate those outside of the profession regarding the impact we can bring to patient care. Enjoy reading this manifesto and the accompanying editorials and articles. Share this manifesto with your colleagues and others in your healthcare system. Each time I read it, I am reminded that we are making a difference every day, one patient at a time, in the lives of many which society has left behind.

In closing, I want to take a moment to thank you in advance for going to the CPNP volunteer center and once again staking your claim to active participation in your organization. If you are ambivalent about this action and have not done so already, read the Psychiatric Pharmacy Manifesto. For those that are reticent regarding throwing their hat in the ring to become a more active CPNP member, that powerful document may be the catalyst to get you moving.

Hope you all enjoy the approaching fall, the incumbent and much anticipated football Saturdays at your favorite campus, and continued success and good health.

Until Next Time-

Jerry McKee Pharm.D., M.S., BCPP