On February 27th, 250 of AFSP's field advocates from all 50 states met with members of Congress and their staff in order to educate them about suicide prevention and mental health. Only one month later, one of the three initiatives championed by AFSP's field advocates, the Excellence in Mental Health Act, has been included in the Medicare bill that has passed both chambers of Congress. AFSP has long been a supporter of this bipartisan bill that is the largest federal investment in community-based mental health and substance use treatment in a generation. Much work remains to be done, but we are confident that by working together we can achieve full implementation of the Excellence in Mental Health Act.
AFSP congratulates the participants in the 2014 Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC last month along with the more than 1,200 advocates that have supported the effort for suicide prevention nationally throughout the year. By making phone calls, arranging personal visits, and participating in email campaigns that urged their members of Congress to pass the Excellence Act, AFSP's advocates contributed to the successful passage of this bill. Through these advocates, AFSP continues to focus its efforts on making suicide prevention an important part of our nation's mental health care strategy. It is so gratifying to see the work of our volunteers and staff come together so successfully. Together we are helping to make mental health parity a reality!