NCPA Innovation Center Announces Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training Scholarship Winners

JULY 28, 2017
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (July 28, 2017)  The NCPA Innovation Center today announced the winners of three scholarships for pharmacists to attend a week-long training session to become certified Mental Health First Aid instructors. Clark Bishop, PharmD, co-owner of Hutton Pharmacy in Blackwell, Okla., Talia Puzantian, PharmD, BCPP, Associate Professor at the Keck Graduate Institute School of Pharmacy in Claremont, Calif., and Thomas Smith, PharmD, BCPP, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Manchester University in Fort Wayne, Ind. were awarded the scholarships as part of a larger NCPA Innovation Center grant from the Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF). Drs. Bishop, Puzantian, and Smith will complete the Mental Health First Aid instructor training this fall and have committed to training community pharmacists and their teams in mental health first aid. 

"The NCPA Innovation Center is dedicated to helping accelerate the community pharmacist's role in the health care team and their training in mental health first aid is a great example of this trend," said NCPA Innovation Center board member Tripp Logan, PharmD, co-owner of L&S Pharmacy in Charleston, Mo. "I recently sent two of my pharmacists and four technicians to Mental Health First Aid training and was impressed with their reactions, especially those of the technicians. The training will be even more impactful for pharmacy teams when taught by pharmacists using pharmacy-specific cases."

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour live education program that teaches attendees how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. As pharmacy team members are often on the front line of patient care, they interact with patients who face these disorders on a regular basis, but may be underprepared to effectively care for them. The Mental Health First Aid education program utilizes case examples and role play to emphasize how the training can be used in real life. 

A second component of the CPF project provided funding to develop pharmacy-specific cases for the training. These cases will be used during Mental Health First Aid training led by these scholarship award winners as well as any other certified Mental Health First Aid instructor. Additional information will be available on both the NCPA and CPF websites in the future.

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