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.

22 Too Many, Veterans Preventing Veteran Suicide


Veterans Johnny Primo and Casey Gray recently started an Instagram Suicide Prevention page where other veterans were encouraged to contact them at any time if they were contemplating suicide. The page currently has 180 veterans willing to be lifelines for other veterans in need, and they have contact with a network of psychologists who can provide more professional assistance if needed.

Strides in Suicide Prevention


Americans are paying more attention to suicide prevention. Lawmakers are passing bills to improve mental health care for U.S. military veterans and service members. Hospitals and medical centers where vulnerable patients may seek care, whether in a therapist's office or the emergency room, are working to identify them sooner and keep them from falling through the cracks. State and local programs are expanding to reach more at-risk youth and address root causes of suicide. Here, experts, including AFSP's Vice President of Public Policy John Madigan, describe new approaches to targeting suicide and some encouraging signs of progress.

HHS and CVS Health Partnership to Increase Preventative Health


There is a new collaboration between the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CVS Health to increase consumer’s knowledge of different preventative services.  Karen DeSalvo , M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health and the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, announced this partnership at the 2015 Health Datapalooza conference. 

Senators Stabenow, Blunt Announce Important Step to Improve and Expand Access to Mental Health Care - See more at: http://www.stabenow.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1717#sthash.Uc11YpU8.EobdydWS.dpuf


U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) today announced the launch of a new initiative to expand community mental health services based on their Excellence in Mental Health Act. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration began the application process for states interested in being selected for a new eight-state demonstration program that will offer patients increased services like 24-hour crisis psychiatric care, counseling, and integrated treatments for mental illness. Last April, President Obama signed into law Senators Stabenow and Blunt's Excellence in Mental Health Act, which is one of the most significant steps forward in community mental health funding in decades. AFSP championed the Excellence in Mental Health Act and have honored both Senators with their "Allies in Action" Award.