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 State Capitol Day Events Continue to Grow

05/12/2014

Tennessee

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.

AFSP Participates in Native American Youth Mental Health Panel

05/08/2014

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On Thursday, May 8, 2014, AFSP Vice President of Public Policy John Madigan participated in a panel discussion on Native American Youth Mental Health. The panel was co-hosted by the Congressional Native American Caucus and Center for Native American Youth. Other panelists included Erin Baily, Director, Center for Native American Youth; Teressa Baldwin, Youth Mental Health Advocate and Founder of Hope4Alaska; and Dr. Susan Karol, Chief Medical Officer, Office of the Director, Indian Health Service. Representatives Grace Napolitano, Betty McCollum, and Raul Grijalva were also in attendance.

Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) Calls for Increased Funding for Suicide Prevention and Outreach

04/30/2014

The House Appropriations Committee met April 20, 2014 to discuss two fiscal bills which would provide funding to Veterans for the 2015 Fiscal Year. One of those bills,the“Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015” (H.R. 4486) gained a lot of attention on the House floor, with the topic of Veterans mental health as a main concern.  H.R. 4486 includes a proposed $20 million increase for suicide prevention and outreach. 

National Council for Behavioral Health Launches Mental Health First Aid for Veterans

04/25/2014

On April 24, 2014, the National Council for Behavioral Health launched the Mental Health First Aid for Veterans program at the National Press Club with several key speakers in attendance to speak on behalf of the program. This Health First Aid program would train every day individuals to recognize and respond to the warning signs of mental health and would provide them with the resources to better assist veterans in the community. 

Governor Deval Patrick (MA) Signs Anti-Bullying Bill

04/24/2014

Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill designed to build on the state’s 2010 anti-bullying law by strengthening protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and students with disabilities.