Becoming an Advocacy Affiliate of the ACNP

The ACNP encourages participation in College activities by members of organizations whose mission and purpose is primarily to:

  • Advocate for improved treatment for people with brain, behavioral, and substance abuse disorders.
  • Advocate for the elimination of stigma associated with those disorders.
  • Provide assistance and support for people with brain, behavioral, and substance abuse disorders through referral services, self-help support groups, and other similar services.
  • Who share a common commitment with the ACNP for the support of scientific research in neuropsychopharmacology and related fields.
  • And who seek and use the advice of ACNP members on their scientific advisory boards.

An organization that meets the description above, and who wants to send representatives to the ACNP Annual Meeting, may send a statement to the ACNP Liaison Committee stating its request.  This letter may be sent to the ACNP Executive Office to and the staff will see that the Liaison Committee is provided a copy for review. The letter must have a member recommendation.  The Liaison Committee will review the organization’s request, and may submit it to Council with a recommendation for approval or non-approval.

If recommended and approved by Council, that organization will then be allowed to send up to two representatives to the ACNP Annual Meeting.  Those organizations will also be invited to participate from time to time in joint projects with the ACNP that relate to the College’s public education efforts and to its efforts in support of research findings.

Advocacy Efforts on the Hill

The ACNP Liaison Committee with Governmental Agencies and the Pharmaceutical Industry is involved in many different consumer organizations in the field of neuropsychopharmacology.

A brief introduction to ACNP was developed by the Liaison Committee in 2017. The introduction details the College, it’s mission and expertise of membership in psychiatry and pharmacology.

2019 Congressional Briefings

“The Role of Science in Overcoming the Opioid Crisis”
On Tuesday, November 19, the American Brain Coalition, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry hosted a briefing; “The Role of Science in Overcoming the Opioid Crisis” in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC.  The briefing featured three esteemed speakers who are experts on the opioid epidemic.

“Bench to Bedside:  Building from Neuroscience Research Discoveries” 
On Tuesday, January 29, the American Brain Coalition, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the Society for Neuroscience, in cooperation with the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus, held an informational briefing. The panelists discussed recent neuroscience research achievements/challenges, highlighted mental health disorders, and examined treatment options. The federal government, mostly but not exclusively, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has played a critical role in supporting the foundational knowledge that makes translational and clinical research possible. Congress has increased funding for the NIH for the past four consecutive years. Of the $39.1 billion provided in FY2019, NIH estimates that it will be devoting more than $7 billion to neuroscience research. In addition, scientists are actively working to develop new tools as part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The briefing built on the successes within the neuroscience research community over the past few years and discussed the need to leverage increased federal funding with private investment to ensure that novel therapies are available to the people who most need them.

2018 Congressional Briefings

“The Role of Science in Overcoming the Opioid Crisis”
On June 20th, the ACNP, the American Brain Coalition in cooperation with the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus (CNC), conducted a briefing which examined what science tells us about the intertwined problems of nonmedical use of prescription pain medicines, heroin use, and opioid overdose deaths in the U.S.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 115 Americans on average die every day from opioid overdoses.  Data from 2017 show up to 30% increased rates of opioid overdose deaths compared to 2016. Science has provided some solutions to aspects of the problem, but existing evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies are underutilized.  The ACNP briefing addressed research being conducted to understand the impact of various policy changes on rates of opioid misuse, opioid use disorders, and related public health outcomes. This briefing encouraged the support for funding of neuroscience research and demonstrated new discoveries that maximize the medical and societal benefits of continued research.

2017 Congressional Briefings

“Impact of Suicide & Depression in America”
The College in conjunction with the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus hosted a breakfast briefing entitled “Impact of Suicide & Depression in America” for House members and staffers to illustrate how neuroscience research informs on efforts in treating common mental health problems. Suicide is a preventable public health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States and that greater investment in suicide prevention research is needed to stop the untimely deaths of thousands of Americans each year. World Mental Health Day

“Healthy Aging: The Connection…Diabetes, Obesity, and Dementia”
The College hosted a luncheon briefing for the Senate HELP Committee, Special Committee on Aging members and legislative staffers to illustrate how neuroscience research informs efforts in treating common mental health problems amongst our aging population entitled, “Healthy Aging: The Connection…Diabetes, Obesity, and Dementia.” The goals of the briefing were to promote public understanding and knowledge of the social, mental, and fiscal impacts of diabetes, obesity, and dementia stimulate greater investment and innovation in dementia research as well as share the benefits of taking a public health approach to dementia and prevention. World Mental Health Day

ACNP Liaison Committee Members Attend “Hill Day” with SfN
Capitol “Hill Day” is the hallmark advocacy event of the year. SfN members from across the country convene on Capitol Hill to meet with their congressional representatives to discuss advances in the field of neuroscience, share the economic and public health benefits of investment in biomedical research, and make the case for strong national investment in scientific research through NIH and NSF. Liaison Committee members Kristin Bigos, Ph.D., Christopher Cowan, Ph.D., and Rebecca Knickmeyer-Santelli, Ph.D., joined forces with SfN members on Thursday, March 23rd to help deliver the message about the importance of brain science across the research continuum. This year, SfN focused on strategically critical congressional districts as part of advancing SfN’s message on the Hill.

More than 40 SfN members along with ACNP Liaison Committee members participated in the successful Capitol Hill Day and met with more than 54 congressional offices to advocate for scientific research.

For more information about our Liaison Committee, Advocacy Affiliates, or Projects, please contact ACNP.