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.

Mental Health Parity Now Law of the Land


Patrick Kennedy Web

The final federal rules regarding medical treatment for mental disorders went into effect on July 1, 2014. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008, is now law in the United States.

Montana Researchers Studying Suicide Causes Hit Roadblocks


Montana’s Suicide Review Team is the first of its kind in the nation. At the 2014 Montana Conference on Suicide Friday, Dr. Leonard Lantz, adult psychiatrist who chairs the Suicide Review Team, addressed the roadblocks that the Team is running into.

AFSP Attends Signing of New Bullying Prevention Law in Illinois


Team Illinois 6-27-14

At 10am on Thursday, June 26th, 2014, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new bullying prevention bill (HB 5707) into Illinois law. The AFSP-Illinois Chapter (AFSP-IL)has been working hard to support this bill and pushed for it at our most recentState Capitol Day in Springfield on April 10, 2014.   

Pennsylvania Adopts Bill Requiring Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Policies in Schools


AFSP is proud to report that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed Act 71 of 2014 (formerly HB 1559) into law on June 26, 2014, making Pennsylvania one of only 5 states to require comprehensive suicide prevention policies in schools statewide. AFSP thanks its many Field Advocate and Chapter volunteers who were integrally involved in supporting HB 1559 throughout the legislative process.

House Veterans Affairs Committee Holds Hearing on Evaluating the Capacity of the VA to Care for Veteran Patients


Jeff Miller House VA Hearing 6-24-14

At 7:30 pm on Monday, June 23rd, 2014, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to evaluate the Department for Veterans’ Affairs further. The questions asked during the hearing covered a wide range of the VA’s operations, including its mental health and behavioral health care system which have been and continue to be major federal public policy priorities of AFSP.   

Summit Addresses Mental Health of Teens


A column appeared in the Friday, June 19 edition of the Washington Post titled "Summit Addresses Mental Health of Teens." The summit involved local teens including some from W.T. Woodson High School which the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Public Policy Office has been working with after recent suicides at the school.