Below we share answers to some of the frequently asked questions AFSP Public Policy Staff routinely receive.
We add to this list often. If there is a question you would like to see included, please contact Trevor Summerfield, AFSP Manager of Federal Policy, at 202-449-3600 Ext. 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Nicole Gibson, AFSP Manager of State Advocacy and Grassroots Outreach, at 202-449-3600 Ext. 105 or email@example.com.
How can I contact the White House?
Go to www.whitehouse.gov or call 202-456-1414.
How can I contact federal cabinet agencies?
- Department of Defense 703-692-7100 www.defense.gov
- Department of Education 202-401-3000 www.ed.gov
- Department of Health and Human Services 202-690-700 www.hhs.gov
- Department of Justice 202-514-2001 www.justice.gov
- Department of Labor 202-693-6000 www.dol.gov
- Department of Veteran Affairs 202-461-4800 www.va.gov
Who are my congressional representatives?
If you are an AFSP Field Advocate, we will send you contact information for your congressional representatives and their staff.
You can find your member of the U.S. House of Representatives by visiting www.house.gov and entering your zip code. Find your two U.S. Senators by visiting www.senate.gov. You can reach the operators for House and Senate offices at 202-224-3121.
Who is my governor?
Visit www.usa.gov to send a message to your governor. You may also contact the Mayor of the District of Columbia.
How can I identify members of my state legislature?
Visit www.ncsl.org/about to identify contact points for your state legislature.
Communicating with Public Officials
Do you have any pointers for when I speak or visit a public official?
- They will appreciate your being brief and quickly getting to the point
- Explain your personal or professional interest in suicide prevention
- Know how the issue affects suicide prevention, education, or research
- Know precisely what you want to ask the public official to do
- Offer to be a resource on suicide prevention issues
- Leave behind short issue briefs or other information
- Be cordial
- Follow up with a thank you note
Do you have any tips on writing or emailing a public official?
- Fully state your case, using the same facts you would in a visit
- Make clear that you expect a prompt response
- Be polite and courteous
- If possible, follow up with a phone call, and say so in your letter or email