Helpful Insights forPatients and Caregivers

AAPP has developed an array of resources to help directly inform patients and caregivers. Clinicians are encouraged to print and distribute these resources as they see fit. AAPP members can access additional formats and clinical resources via the Medication Database.

There are over 1,100 psychiatric pharmacists across the country working with patients living with mental illness in hospitals, clinics, and many more settings. These professionals are specially trained and ready to answer your questions! Download the Psychiatric Pharmacists on Your Care Team flyer.

What Psychiatric Pharmacists Do for Patients

  • Provide the expertise in psychiatric medication therapy needed to complement the skills of other members of the treatment team (physician, psychiatrist, retail pharmacist).  
  • Assess the status of the patient’s health conditions and determine whether the medications and care plan are meeting the patient’s needs and goals of care, using a process called comprehensive medication management (CMM). 
  • Evaluate the need and effectiveness of the patient’s medications.  
  • Optimize medication therapy for health conditions not under good control.  
  • Work with the patient to make sure progress and recovery are being achieved based on the patient’s goals.  
  • Collaborate with the patient’s physicians, community pharmacist, and other health care providers in selecting the treatment that best meets the patient’s needs and contributes to recovery.  
  • Advise the patient on how to best take his or her medications to maximize results while minimizing side effects.  
  • Support the health care team’s efforts to educate the patient on other important steps to improve or maintain health.  
  • Refer the patient to his or her physician or other health professionals to address specific health,  wellness, or social services concerns as they arise.

How Psychiatric Pharmacists Care for Patients

  • Provide a recovery oriented process of patient care that ensures the goals of therapy are being met. 
  • Consult with the patient’s health care provider(s) to develop and implement a medication plan that can achieve recovery established by the patient and health care team. 
  • Apply specialized knowledge of the scientific and clinical use of medications, including medication. action, dosing, adverse effects, and drug interactions to improve quality of life while minimizing side effects to medications. 
  • Call on their experience to solve medication related side effects. 
  • Rely on their professional relationships with patients to maximize their medication-related experiences and assist in achieving recovery.

Finding Psychiatric Pharmacists

Contact your nearest school of pharmacy, psychiatric hospital or Veterans Affairs Medical Center for the name and location of an expert in your area. You can also search for Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists (BCPPs) at the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.

What You Need to Know About...

AAPP has begun to address some common topics of concern for individuals living with mental illness. While this may not been the final stop in a search for understanding, these resources help clarify what you need to know about:

Learn About Your Medications

The American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists partners with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to provide current and thorough information on medications used to treat psychiatric and neurologic conditions. AAPP members author and review content in order to provide an objective, evidence-based description of what the medication treats, how the medication should be taken, side-effects, risks and much more. The medication fact sheets on were written by AAPP members in collaboration with NAMI to give insight into your medications. AAPP members and other clinicians are encouraged to print and distribute these valuable resources. PDF versions of all medication fact sheets are available in AAPP's Medication Database

Find Medication Fact Sheets