Advocacy & Public Policy

Advocacy & Public Policy

Our chapter is actively engaged in advocating for local, state, and national policies that we believe will help prevent suicide.

We need your help to spread the word that prevention is possible and ensure that public policies make a difference. 

Click here to learn more and get involved.

Click here for information on to become a Field Advocate.

2013 Filed Advocacy Forum
Board Chair Tracy Franklin attended the AFSP 2013 Filed Advocacy Forum in Washington D.C. that took place from June 11-13, 2013. She and four other registered AFSP Field Advocates, including Damon Hodge and Katie Elliott, both from Austin Texas met with many Texas delegates to discuss federal legislation that benefits mental health and suicide prevention.
The two federal programs that we educated delegates on and asked them to support were the National Violent Death Reporting System and the Mental Health First Aid Act.

The National Violent Death Reporting System
The National Violent Death Reporting System currently needs funding of 25 million to collect data from medical examiners, coroners, police, crime labs, & death certificates. Before we can design effective suicide prevention strategies, we need complete, accurate and timely information about deaths by suicide. NVDRS covers all violent deaths, not just suicide. AFSP urged Congress to appropriate the full $25 million needed to implement NVDRS in all 50 states. It is currently funded at $3.5 million, which allows implementation in only 18 states.

Mental Health First Aid Act
The MHFAA is a public education program helping to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse. It teaches a five step action plan to reach out to a person in crisis and connect him/her with professional help. We asked for cosponsors to authorize $20 million in grant funds for this nation wide training program. The program has three areas of training. The first area is recognizing the symptoms of common mental illnesses and addiction disorders. The second area is de-escalating crisis situations safely. The third area is initiating timely referral to mental health and substance abuse resources available in the community.
Interested in getting involved with out Public Policy/Field Advocacy Committee? Let us know!