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.

Students Craft Mental Health Legislation in Virginia


Two University of Virginia students, Jarrod Nagurka and Rachel Deitch, both of Arlington, helped craft a bipartisan mental health bill that Del. Patrick Hope (D-47) and Del. Joseph R. Yost (R-12) have introduced to the Virginia House of Delegates.

United States Senate Passes FY 2014 Omnibus Spending Bill


A $1.1 trillion spending bill cleared Congress after it passed in the Senate by a final vote of 72-26. It will now go to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature and averts any threat of a government shutdown through September 30. 

United States House of Representatives Pass Omnibus Spending Bill for FY 2014


The United States House of Representatives passed a $1.1 trillion bipartisan spending bill today to finance the U.S. government through September 30, 2014 by a vote of 359-67. Included in the Omnibus was an increase of nearly $8 million dollars for the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) bringing the program's funding to $11.2 million from $3.5 million which only allowed 18 states to participate.

Report: Suicide rate spikes among young veterans


The number of young veterans committing suicide jumped dramatically from 2009 to 2011, a worrying trend that Veterans Affairs officials hope can be reversed with more treatment and intervention.

Mental Health Parity Rule Clarifies Standards For Treatment Limits, Coverage Of Intermediate Care


The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 required health plans that offer mental health and substance use disorder benefits to cover them to the same extent that they cover medical/surgical benefits. Among other things, it prohibits having treatment limits or financial coverage requirements such as copayments or deductibles that are more restrictive than a plan’s medical coverage. Interim regulations issued in 2010 clarified some issues about implementing the law.

Legal Action Center Releases FAQs on Recently Released Federal Parity Regulations


The Legal Action Center (LAC) has developed easy to read FAQs on the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), also known as the federal parity law, which seeks to eliminate discriminatory access to mental health and substance use disorder (MH and SUD) benefits in certain health insurance coverage.