Advocacy & Public Policy

Advocacy & Public Policy

WIS-TV interview on State House steps: Helen Pridgen and Kathy Neeley, wife of then SC Chapter Board Chair, Ed Neeley, following Helen’s testimony to the Senate K-12 Education Subcommittee on 03/14/12. Interview was broadcast on WIS and their NBC affiliates in SC. 

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.

The Chapter was instrumental in getting the Jason Flatt Act passed in 2012 that requires teachers and other certified school personnel to participate in two hours training in suicide prevention as a condition of their recertification. At the 2013 National Chapter Leadership Conference, the SC chapter won the Outstanding Chapter Advocacy Program award recognizing the JFA and other legislative advocacy activity. Contact the SC Public Policy Committee Chair Tom Robinson if you would like to explore becoming a field advocate or have ideas for legislative initiatives.

2013 Advocacy Forum

(L to R) Helen Pridgen, Susan Parlier, Vanessa Riley and Ed Neeley on the Hill during the 2013 Advocacy Forum.

Highlights from 2014 Advocacy Forum

Helen Pridgen, Susan Parlier and Tom Robinson particpated the very powerful Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC.  
We had a successful trip calling on all of the healthcare legislative aides in the offices of all seven South Carolina Congressmen plus both Senators.  On February 26 we met to review AFSP priorities and legislation that was active or at least planned in Congress.  On February 27, in 20-degree weather and 20-knot winds, we made our calls.  Congress was in session, and there were roll-calls and voting all day, so most of the elected officials were on the floor voting.  We did, however, meet with former-Representative-Governor-and-now-Representative-again-Mark Sanford (SC-01).  That evening we honored those in Congress who have supported our cause.  On February 28, we huddled to review the successes and frustrations of the previous day.  And then we began the exciting prospect of carrying our message forward at the state level — the new frontier for AFSP.

Congressman Sanford shared that he lost a friend to suicide years ago when he was in Charleston. While that is yet another sad story, it does help connect to purpose.  Making things happen is a combination of developing cold, hard, pragmatic strategy and connecting  with the soft personal stories that really engage busy elected officials trying to manage all kinds of pressing issues from budgets to war in Ukraine.
Many of the presentations given during the Forum are now up on the website. Check them out.

SC Mental Health Advocacy Day

AFSP joined forces at the State Capital with Mental Health America (SC) and NAMI-SC on Wednesday morning, March 12