Federal Policy

2015 Advocacy Forum Group Capitol Shot

At AFSP, we work hard every day to create a world in which people no longer die by suicide. Making sure that federal laws and policies serve that end is one of our most important goals.

Suicide is personal and complicated. We do know, however, that public policies ensuring access to support and care for those who experience mental disorders, including veterans, is critical to reducing the number of suicides.

Changing federal policy isn’t easy, but it is possible and it is important. The links below share AFSP’s federal legislative and regulatory priorities, which the AFSP Board of Directors updates each year based on recommendations from our Public Policy Council.

Suicide Prevention Research

“There is every reason to expect that a national consensus to declare war on suicide and to fund research and prevention at a level commensurate with the severity of the problem will be successful, and will lead to highly significant discoveries as have the wars on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and AIDS.” --Institute of Medicine, Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative (2002)

S. 2035 and H.R. 4075 the Suicide Prevention Research Innovation Act (SPRINT), provides funding to the National Institute of Mental Health to support suicide prevention and brain research including studies designed to reduce the risk of self-harm, suicide, and interpersonal violence, especially in rural communities with a shortage of mental health services.

Mental Health Parity

AFSP recognizes that health care reform and mental health parity laws and regulations will increase access to mental health and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery support services for millions of Americans.  As this can have a significant impact on reducing the number of suicides that occur in the United States annually, AFSP urges Congress and the Obama Administration to ensure mental health parity is a reality by implementing and enforcing the law.