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.

George W. Bush Institute Holds Summit on Post 9/11 Veterans


The George W. Bush Institute held a summit on February 19th, 2014 to discuss how to most effectively serve post-9/11 veterans. The event included remarks from President George W. Bush and Dr. Jill Biden, as well as a discussion between ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, Gen. Peter Pace and Stephen A. Schwarzman about the unique needs of veterans; a panel that attempted to prioritize the issues of this generation of veterans, including Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Kenneth Fisher, D. Wayne Robinson and John Thiel; and a panel about the roles of the private and non-profit sectors with the Honorable Alvin Brown, Jean Case, Joe DePinto, Kent R. Hance and Jake Wood.

FY2014 funding for SAMHSA expands vital mental health services – especially for children and youth


As a result of the Fiscal Year 2014 “Consolidated Appropriations Act” (P.L. 113-76), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will provide expanded help to meet the mental health needs of individuals, families and communities across the nation. The $276 million additional funding above the FY13 post-sequestration level will enable SAMHSA to better address the mental health needs of the nation’s children and young people – including those most at risk for serious mental illnesses. 

At last, suicides among military family members could be tracked


Though the military tracks suicides among service members, suicides among their family members -- spouses, siblings and parents -- go uncounted. But CNN learned Wednesday that the Pentagon's Defense Suicide Prevention Office has sent a report to Congress detailing for the first time a proposal for tracking those deaths.

The Gun Report, 1 Year Later - Joe Nocera, New York Times


It has been a year since my assistant, Jennifer Mascia, and I started publishing The Gun Report, an effort to use my blog to aggregate daily gun violence in America. Our methodology is pretty simple: We do a Google News search each weekday morning for the previous day’s shootings and then list them.  

From the start, we knew we were missing a lot more incidents than we found. 

Part of the issue, as Slate has noted, is that it is impossible to track suicides using news media accounts — and suicides, according to the C.D.C., account for some 60 percent of gun deaths.