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.

Congress Examines Legislation to Improve 21st Century Cures


On Wednesday, 4/30, The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to examine legislation relating to the 21st Century Cures initiative. The Cures Initiative was introduced by Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Congresswoman Dianna DeGette (D-CO) in 2014; it is designed to explore the research and development processes of developing new drugs and treatments for diseases, conditions, and illnesses across the country. The subcommittee has spent the past year gathering information from researchers, medical professionals, academicians, and others with expertise related to these fields in order to draft a bipartisan proposal to improve healthcare.

Trio of causes brings famous songstresses to Capitol Hill


Three famed female singers — Barbra Streisand, Cyndi Lauper and Judy Collins — were all in Washington, DC for separate causes on April 29. Collins was in town promoting her upcoming June 10 event for the Congressional Spouses for Suicide Prevention and Education, an initiative of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

Maryland General Assembly Approves “Lauryn’s Law”


The Maryland General Assembly has approved a bill called “Lauryn’s Law”, which requires school counselors to undergo trainings to recognize the signs of mental illness in students. The bill is named after a 15 year old girl from Prince George’s County who took her own life whose mother requested the help of the school counselor, who never intervened. 

AFSP Congratulates New U.S. Surgeon General Murthy


On April 22nd, 2015, AFSP Public Policy Associate Tracy Kamen and Manager of Federal Policy Trevor Summerfield watched the Swearing-In ceremony for the new Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy. AFSP congratulates Dr. Murthy on becoming the 19th Surgeon General of the United States and looks forward to working with him to prevent suicide. 

University Raises Awareness for Veteran Suicides


Veterans have a high suicide rate – approximately 22 lose their lives each day. Stockton University in southern New Jersey has been creating a month-long visual project to represent just how many lives are lost. 

First Lady Calls for Support for Native American Youth Mental Health


First lady Michelle Obama recently spoke at an event at the White House, co-hosted by the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) at the Aspen Institute where she called for action against the many issues faced by the Native American community, including mental health and suicide.