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 Attends Defense Suicide Prevention Office’s 3rd Annual Orientation Day


On Tuesday, September 16th AFSP Public Policy Associates Paul Almeida and Andrew Douglas attended the Defense Suicide Prevention Office’s 3rd Annual Orientation Day. Established in November 2011, the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) is part of the Department of Defense and oversees the “strategic development, implementation, centralization, standardization, communication and evaluation of DoD suicide and risk reduction programs, policies and surveillance activities.”   

State Government Leaders Recognize Suicide Prevention Week 2014


Each year in September, we recognize National Suicide Prevention Week during the week corresponding with World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10).  During this national week of recognition, AFSP joins the many other nonprofit groups, private and public organizations, and community and government leaders in engaging our communities in discussion about suicide and its prevention.  Together we highlight messages of hope – that suicide is preventable, and that there is hope for those who are struggling with mental illness or suicidal thoughts.

Realizing the Promise of Mental Health and Substance Use Parity: New Tools for Navigating Mental Health Coverage


Bob and Patrick for web

On Wednesday, September 10, 2014 The National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH) and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) held a congressional staff briefing sponsored by Senator Martin Heinrich entitled, “Realizing the Promise of Mental Health and Substance Use Parity: New Tools for Navigating Mental Health Coverage.” The briefing was held during Suicide Prevention Week and Recovery Month to highlight the importance of mental health parity in reducing the burden of mental illness and substance use for the one in four Americans living with these conditions.

How We End Suicide - By AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia


Since Robin Williams's death on August 11, 2014, approximately 3,000 Americans have died by suicide. Each year in the United States, suicide claims more than 39,000 lives -- more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. That's one person every 13 minutes. And for each death, 25 others attempt suicide.

AFSP Attends NAMI’s Please Like Me Screening and Panel Discussion


On Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 AFSP Public Policy Associates Paul Almeida and Andrew Douglas attended a screening of the critically acclaimed television series Please Like Me put on by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The series, aired on Participant Media’s Pivot TV Network, deals with issues any twenty something could face such as, in the recently aired second season, mental illness. 

AFSP Partners with Pennsylvania State Rep. Adolph for Press Conference Announcing New Suicide Training Bill


On Thursday, September 4, Pennsylvania State Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) held a press conference where he was joined by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to announce the introduction of the Matt Adler Suicide Prevention Continuing Education Act (HB 2461). Gary and Phyllis Adler, the Delaware County Crisis Connections Team, and co-sponsoring legislators from the region were also in attendance. 

President Obama Announces Executive Actions to Address Veteran and Military Suicide


At noon on Tuesday, August 26, 2014, President Barack Obama spoke at the American Legion’s 96th convention and outlined the Administration’s five priorities for reforming the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). One of those priorities is mental health and the President announced 19 new executive actions to improve the mental health of service members, veterans, and their families. Veteran and Military suicide prevention is one of AFSP's top public policy priorities and remains committed to working with the Administration, Congress, and other interested organizations to reduce the number suicides among our nation's veterans and military personnel.