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.

New Army Study Finds High Risk Groups for Suicide Attempt.


A retrospective cohort study found that newer enlisted soldiers with an educational level of less than high school were more likely to attempt suicide. The study reviewed records of nearly 10,000 suicide attempts among 1 million active-duty Army members from 2004 to 2009, during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Potential breakthrough in depression treatments - NIMH Director's Blog


This week in the National Institute of Mental Health Director’s Blog, Thomas Insel discussed a paper written by Ramirez and other MIT colleagues investigating how brain circuits can be involved in depression and subsequent treatments. The study used genetic engineering to define cells that would be activated by positive or rewarding experiences and tested them in mice. The cells were engineered to be responsive to light. 

Suicide Prevention – There’s an App for That


Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for those between the ages of 10-24 in the United States. In a time where teens and members of this age group are more tied to their smartphones than ever before, one of the best ways to combat suicide may be through their smartphones. 

Jason Flatt Act Passes in Texas


Texas is now the 16th state in the nation to pass the Jason Flatt Act, after Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 2186 into law. 

New Database from Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health May Help to Identify Veterans with a High Likelihood of Suicide


Suicide rates among veterans are significantly higher than the civilian population. This disparity led the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin compiling a database of veterans four years ago in an attempt to identify veterans with a high-risk to attempt suicide. The database was designed to distinguish patterns “in existing records using 381 variables, including medications, diagnoses, age, sex and a history of suicide attempts.” One of AFSP’s top policy priorities is preventing suicide among veterans.