Are you concerned about the number of people who die by suicide in your state? Would you like to see changes that can help reduce suicides? If so, we invite you to join AFSP in our state advocacy efforts.
Thousands of AFSP Suicide Prevention Advocates across the country are working to shape state and local policies aimed at reducing the number of people who die by suicide. Policy issues that impact suicide include those addressing suicide prevention training, access to mental health care, bullying, and other issues.
Suicide Prevention Advocates participate in task forces and coalitions, work with state legislatures to draft legislation and testify at hearings, send letters to decision makers and local media, facilitate trainings, promote quality educational programs, and develop relationships with local school boards. They participate in town halls. They share their stories. They get the word out that policies can make a difference in reducing suicide.
AFSP provides ongoing guidance and support to our Suicide Prevention Advocates through our AFSP Public Policy Office.
AFSP needs your help to achieve our state-level priorities:
- Monitor and respond to State Suicide Prevention Initiatives and Plans
- Require regular Suicide Prevention Training for School Personnel and Health Professionals
- Require responsible Anti-Bullying and Anti-Cyberbullying Policies in Schools
- Ensure Mental Health Parity and Access to Affordable Mental Health Treatment
- Collaborate with the gun-owning community on firearm safety and suicide prevention efforts
In 2014-2015, Suicide Prevention Advocates have inspired positive state policy changes by:
- Supporting legislation in Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington state, West Virginia, and Wyoming that now mandates regular suicide prevention training for school personnel and school policies on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.
- Supporting pioneering legislation in Washington state, Kentucky, Utah, Nevada, and New Hampshire that now mandates regular suicide prevention training for certain health and mental health professionals in suicide assessment, treatment, and management.
- Organizing or co-organizing State Capitol Days to educate state and local elected officials on the importance of suicide prevention and mental health.
- Promoting use of AFSP’s new Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention in local schools and school districts nationwide.
Advocates in Action: Learn how other Suicide Prevention Advocates are inspiring change and making a difference.