The American Psychological Association last week released a finding from its annual “Stress in America” survey that more than half of adults in the United States feel very or somewhat stressed by the election. Republicans and Democrats are feeling this stress at similar rates. There is even talk of what is formally called Election Stress Disorder.
The only certainty is the vital importance of engagement.
I’m not half kidding when I say that there is a remedy for election-induced stress, and this remedy is to engage in the NACDS RxIMPACT grassroots advocacy program. There are plenty of articles online that offer advice for reducing stress, such as “anxiety will grow if it’s not directed into some positive action” and “courage is not the absence of fear, but taking action in spite of fear.” NACDS RxIMPACT is all about action – specifically, positioning pharmacy for success whatever the outcome of the elections.
For starters, we have 19 days left to continue to demonstrate the political activism of pharmacy through the NACDS RxIMPACT Votes program. Visit PharmacyVoter.org to learn how to make an impact; use #PharmacyVoter in social media posts urging to people to vote for the candidates of their choice; and share NACDS’ get-out-the-vote YouTube videos that encourage engagement in the elections even while telling the story of pharmacies as the face of neighborhood healthcare.
Also, make plans now to participate in the 2017 NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, which will be held March 14-15 in Washington, D.C. Last year, advocates met with 90 percent of Congressional offices during this event. There will be a new Administration and some measure of Congressional turnover, so it will be essential to visit the newly elected Senators and Representatives and to maintain visibility of those who are returning to Congress amid ever-changing political dynamics.
There are many other steps that you can take as well through NACDS RxIMPACT, such as engaging as a key contact with a specific member of Congress, hosting a grassroots training session at your company, inviting a member of Congress to tour a pharmacy, and much more.
For my part, I am finding it particularly challenging given the current landscape to prepare for remarks that I am scheduled to deliver at the American Society of Association Executives’ “DC Law: Association Law Symposium” on Friday, October 28. I am supposed to preview the election in the presentation topic given to me: “What You ‘Need to Know’ About Politics.” The only certainty is the vital importance of engagement, so I think I will stick to that – and the highly engaged people of pharmacy provide a stellar example. For battling Election Stress Disorder, that’s a proactive message of which I think the American Psychological Association would approve.