Suicide Prevention

Two females on a college campus walking and talking
APA Services uses psychological research to reduce mental health stigma and advocate for initiatives that bolster education, research, and community services to identify and help individuals at risk of suicide and their families.

Our focus

  • Access to care:
    To address suicide it is essential to ensure insurance coverage for prevention services, including screening for depression across the lifespan and peer support services. Additionally, our nation must increase the number of trained, culturally and linguistically competent health care professionals, including psychologists and other mental health providers. APA Services also supports increased access to acute treatment resources by expanding Medicaid coverage for short-term acute inpatient stays.
  • Funding evidence-based treatment:
    APA Services supports increasing the dissemination of evidenced-based treatments for all populations and ages in a variety of settings, including schools, prisons, outpatient and inpatient centers. Our association supports funding streams for innovative community-based services and programs that work with those at-risk including support lines, peer support, mobile treatment teams and crisis respite centers. APA also encourages increased investments in crisis intervention and response initiatives within public mental health systems and first responder systems that create alternatives to overcrowded emergency rooms and jails that are often not well-equipped to treat people in emotional crisis.
  • Research:
    APA Services advocates for robust investments in suicide prevention research at federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Veterans' Affairs to address this public health issue and prevent future tragedies.
  • Extreme Risk Protection Order Laws
    APA urges support of state efforts to implement Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPOs) laws. These laws can prevent suicides and can provide communities with an opportunity to petition the courts to intervene, and temporarily remove a firearm if the person is a possible risk to themselves or others without legal repercussions.
  • Prevention Programs:
    APA Services is a strong proponent of early intervention resources, programs and laws such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Programs.

Our efforts on this issue advance the following advocacy priorities:

  • Violence and suicide prevention
  • Access to health services, including mental and behavioral health services
  • Funding for basic and applied psychological research
Suicide, like so many tragedies, is the direct result of despair, and there is only one cure for despair — hope. It is my hope that our political parties can join together in a bipartisan effort to give people in the most acute despair some measure of hope for a better life — by improving the services that are provided.
—Joel A. Dvoskin, PhD, ABPP, University of Arizona College of Medicine

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Contact us

Ben Vonachen, MA
Senior Director, Congressional and Federal Relations
Email APA Advocacy Office

Recent advocacy on suicide prevention

Date created: October 2021