The Consumer Relations Committee represented CPNP at the 2012 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Annual Convention, which was held in Seattle, Washington June 27–30. CPNP members manned a booth during the convention and presented a poster titled “Advancing Recovery through Medication Adherence.”

Each year NAMI Annual Convention attendees are asked to complete a survey to help CPNP better understand the awareness attendees have about psychiatric pharmacists. At the same time, this survey is intended to educate them about the availability of psychiatric pharmacists. The survey asks a variety of questions, however only three questions and answers will be addressed in this article:

  1. “Before this meeting, were you aware that there are pharmacists who specialize in mental health?”

  2. “Would you like to learn more about psychiatric pharmacists?”

  3. “Do you know of any pharmacist who is active in your local NAMI affiliate?”

The NAMI Annual Convention moves to a different site annually and is attended by a diverse population as a result. The number of surveys collected has varied over the years and the fluctuations may be attributed to the CPNP members staffing the booth or to the number of attendees who agreed to fill out the survey. Since 2007, the number of surveys collected ranged from 34–171. Of those surveyed in previous years, 73–82% of respondents were not aware that pharmacists specialize in mental health. However, between 70–91% of respondents would like to know more about psychiatric pharmacists. This year's results were similar to results collected in previous years. A total of 45 surveys were completed and represented people from 19 states. Approximately 72% of respondents were unaware of psychiatric pharmacists and 89% of respondents stated that they would like to learn more about psychiatric pharmacists. Of the 45 people surveyed only 2 people stated that they knew a pharmacist that was active in their local NAMI affiliate.

These survey responses indicate that there continues to be a significant need to educate consumers, family members and providers who attend the NAMI Annual Convention about psychiatric pharmacists. At the state level, we encourage each of you to participate in your local NAMI chapters and offer to provide educational programs. Visit www.nami.org to find your local NAMI chapter. You can help get the word out about psychiatric pharmacists!

The Consumer Relations Committee would like to hear how you are involved with your local NAMI chapter.