WSU students joined other volunteers with the group Blessings Under The Bridge to serve hot meals and provide other items to the homeless and the underserved. The weekly event under the I-90 overpass at 4th and McClellan is intended to give back, empower and acknowledge those in the community who face homelessness, and who are often marginalized in their everyday lives.

Student pharmacists in the Washington State University College of Pharmacy chapter of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) volunteered for the first time this March, and gained exposure to some of the vulnerable populations the CPNP strives to serve.

WSU students volunteering with the group Blessings Under The Bridge.“This is a very positive outreach,” says Mike Gibson, who is the faculty advisor to the WSU CPNP chapter. “The homeless are at risk for mental illness due to a lack of access to health care, nutritious food, and necessary access to much-needed medications for a variety of ailments. Many of the clients seen at Blessings Under the Bridge may be, or may become, patients under the care of our student pharmacists, and thus it provides a illustrative interaction for our students to engage and help those who are very much in need,” says Gibson.

“As president this year, my goal with CPNP has been expanding student outreach to groups that either directly interact with or have some involvement with those in the mental health community,” said Jesse Luhman, CPNP-WSU chapter president and student pharmacist in the class of 2018. “For me, the impact of this event was a reminder of those who may be struggling in our community and how a portion of them are people with mental health challenges.”

The CPNP is a national pharmacy organization dedicated to advancing the knowledge and practice of psychiatric pharmacy, and promoting the safe and appropriate treatment for individuals with mental illness and neurologic disorders.

Blessings Under The Bridge is a non-profit, local organization that was formed by Jessica and Mike Kovac in 2007. They have been setting up every Wednesday evening ever since, everyone is welcome. The group now also provides groceries and clothes to those in need.

[Lori J. Maricle] 4/28/17