Policy News & Updates

AFSP works hard to create a world in which people no longer die by suicide. While we understand that suicide is personal and complicated, we also know that thoughtful public policies can reduce the number of suicides.

To help make that happen, we work closely with hundreds of well-informed and passionate advocates, all committed to educating officials at every level of government about suicide, and persuading them to act. 

To ensure that public officials and the general public have the information they need to make informed decisions about suicide, we provide the links below. These links will take you to news and information about advocacy efforts and public policies related to suicide prevention. The links also connect to the work we’re doing here at AFSP, in our Advocacy and Public Policy office, and to our powerful national network of suicide prevention advocates.

Suicides Mounting, Golden Gate Looks to Add a Safety Net

03/27/2014

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge may soon become a little bit safer. The directors of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation Authority are expected to soon vote in favor of adding suicide prevention measures to the bridge.

Real Mental Health Parity Means Access to Healthcare

03/27/2014

More than 6 million people have signed up for health insurance under the affordable care act which extends coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment on par with coverage for physical health care. 

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Holds Hearing on the Shortage of Beds for Inpatient Psychiatric Care

03/26/2014

On Wednesday March 26th, 2014, Chairman Fred Upton (MI-06) and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (CA-33) convened a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to discuss how the shortage of beds for inpatient psychiatric care affects the seriously mentally ill, hospital care, and communities. The decrease in psychiatric beds of more than 90% since the 1950’s has left considerable question to where these mentally ill patients have ended up. 

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs holds hearing on FY 2015 budget

03/25/2014

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) held a hearing to discuss the fiscal year 2015 budget. Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mark Kirk (R-IL) received testimony from VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and various undersecretaries including Dr. Robert Petzel, VA Undersecretary for Health.

Proposed Medicare Part D Drug Changes Are Scrapped

03/11/2014

Yesterday, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would not pursue a controversial proposal to remove antidepressants as a "protected class" under Medicare Part D at this time. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Health Council, and other chronic disease and mental health organizations submitted comments to CMS urging them to scrap the proposed rule.

Current Mental-Health Resources Fail Our Heroes - Commentary from Roll Call

03/10/2014

In January, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported that suicide rates for younger veterans, ages 18 to 29, had increased significantly from 2009 to 2011. The suicide rate for male veterans increased by 44 percent, while the rate among female veterans increased by 11 percent.

Despite these alarming statistics, the VA found “no clear change” in the suicide rate of veterans using their own facilities.