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.

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. 

Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on FY 2015 Bill


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The Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee met Wednesday, June 18 to hold a hearing entitled “FY15 Department of Defense Budget.” AFSP was in attendance and will continue monitoring the FY 2015 appropriations process to ensure that military and veteran suicide prevention and mental health programs receive as much funding as necessary.

AFSP Attends Congressional Hearing to Support National Health Council Efforts on the MODDERN Cures Act


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The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Health Subcommittee held a hearing today titled “21stCentury Cures: Examining the Role of Incentives in Advancing Treatments and Cures for Patients.” A bill introduced in September 2013, the “Modernizing Our Drug & Diagnostics Evaluation and Regulatory Network (MODDERN) Cures Act of 2013” (H.R. 3116) featured prominently as legislation that could improve incentives for pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms to invest in research and development (R&D) of products that tackle unmet medical needs.  Mental illness represents a vast unmet medical need, and AFSP supports incentives that allow promising new therapies to reach the market.

Diane Rehm Segment on “Forced Commitment of the Severely Mentally Ill”


Diane Rehm’s National Public Radio (NPR) segment on June 2, 2014, “Forced Commitment of the Severely Mentally Ill,” featured the sponsors of two comprehensive mental health bills that have been introduced in the United States House of Representatives. AFSP will be urging all members of the House to work together to find a common ground so that we can deliver mental health legislation that will improve the lives of every American.  

AFSP Attends Congressional Briefing on LGBT Family Acceptance and Youth Suicide Prevention


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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) Manager of Federal Policy Trevor Summerfield was in attendance for a Congressional briefing on LGBT Family Acceptance and Youth Suicide Prevention hosted by Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) on Thursday, May 29, 2014. LGBT suicide prevention is one of AFSP’s Federal policy priorities and appreciated the opportunity to be part of the conversation with members of congress and experts in LGBT issues on what has and can be done to prevent suicide among the LGBT populations.