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.

AFSP Attends Congressional Hearing to Support National Health Council Efforts on the MODDERN Cures Act


energy and commerce hearing 6 11 14

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Health Subcommittee held a hearing today titled “21stCentury Cures: Examining the Role of Incentives in Advancing Treatments and Cures for Patients.” A bill introduced in September 2013, the “Modernizing Our Drug & Diagnostics Evaluation and Regulatory Network (MODDERN) Cures Act of 2013” (H.R. 3116) featured prominently as legislation that could improve incentives for pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms to invest in research and development (R&D) of products that tackle unmet medical needs.  Mental illness represents a vast unmet medical need, and AFSP supports incentives that allow promising new therapies to reach the market.

Diane Rehm Segment on “Forced Commitment of the Severely Mentally Ill”


Diane Rehm’s National Public Radio (NPR) segment on June 2, 2014, “Forced Commitment of the Severely Mentally Ill,” featured the sponsors of two comprehensive mental health bills that have been introduced in the United States House of Representatives. AFSP will be urging all members of the House to work together to find a common ground so that we can deliver mental health legislation that will improve the lives of every American.  

AFSP Attends Congressional Briefing on LGBT Family Acceptance and Youth Suicide Prevention


lgbt briefing photo

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) Manager of Federal Policy Trevor Summerfield was in attendance for a Congressional briefing on LGBT Family Acceptance and Youth Suicide Prevention hosted by Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) on Thursday, May 29, 2014. LGBT suicide prevention is one of AFSP’s Federal policy priorities and appreciated the opportunity to be part of the conversation with members of congress and experts in LGBT issues on what has and can be done to prevent suicide among the LGBT populations.

AFSP Attends Congressional Panel on Veteran and Military Mental Health


Military Veteran Mental Health Panel

The U.S. Army Liaison Office, the Congressional Military Mental Health Caucus and the Congressional Mental Health Caucus held a panel Wednesday, May 21 to discuss the state of mental health in the U.S. military and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention was present. 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Joins Congressman Paul Tonko, Students, and Teachers for Discussion of Comprehensive Mental Health Legislation


laura marx paul tonko for web

On Thursday, May 15, AFSP Capital Region New York Area Director Laura Marx joined Congressman Paul Tonko; Principal at Delaware Community School Thomas Giglio; Albany City School District Superintendent Dr. Vanden Wyngaard; and Delaware Community School Pyschologist Dixie Lopez at the Delaware Community School library in Albany, New York to discuss comprehensive mental health legislation introduced last week.

AFSP State Capitol Day Events Continue to Grow



This was the second year for AFSP’s State Capitol Day events, held to bring volunteers together in their state capitols to educate elected officials about suicide prevention and mental health.  Participants share their personal stories and experiences with suicide and mental illness, share the latest research, and engage state and local elected officials and their staff in discussion on how we can work together to prevent suicide and improve mental health.