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.

Senators Stabenow, Blunt Announce Important Step to Improve and Expand Access to Mental Health Care - See more at: http://www.stabenow.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1717#sthash.Uc11YpU8.EobdydWS.dpuf

05/22/2015

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) today announced the launch of a new initiative to expand community mental health services based on their Excellence in Mental Health Act. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration began the application process for states interested in being selected for a new eight-state demonstration program that will offer patients increased services like 24-hour crisis psychiatric care, counseling, and integrated treatments for mental illness. Last April, President Obama signed into law Senators Stabenow and Blunt's Excellence in Mental Health Act, which is one of the most significant steps forward in community mental health funding in decades. AFSP championed the Excellence in Mental Health Act and have honored both Senators with their "Allies in Action" Award.

House Energy and Commerce Holds Hearing on 21st Century Cures Initiative

05/14/2015

On Thursday, May 14, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the 21st Century Cures Initiative. AFSP Public Policy Associate Morgan Hammonds, and Manager of Federal Policy, Trevor Summerfield, were in attendance. AFSP has worked with partners, including the National Health Council, on the 21st Century Cures Initiative as it shows promise to increase the availability of treatments for those with mental illness.

'Ceeci's Law' gains momentum

05/12/2015

A bill gaining momentum in New York was highlighted on Wednesday, May 6, by activists advocating in coordination with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Bill A.7180/S.3912 would establish procedures for school safety in the event of a student's expressed intention to commit suicide. The bill is sponsored in the Senate by John Flanagan, R-East Northport, the chair of the Education Committee.

Activists push for suicide prevention measures

05/07/2015

Trish Washburn is trying to make sure other parents don't have to face the same nightmare she did when her young daughter talked about committing suicide. She spoke during a meeting Wednesday of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in the state Capitol to advocate for better safety measures as part of AFSP-New York's 1st Annual State Capitol Day. 

Youth Suicides More Frequent in Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

05/04/2015

Native Americans already face an unusually high suicide rate, but for the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the numbers are only increasing. Since December, nine individuals between the ages of 12 and 24 have taken their own lives; this is nearly double the number of lives lost in all of 2013. According to the Indian Health Service (IHS), another 103 have attempted suicide from December to March. Local EMS workers report being called to the scene of an attempted several times each day.