Evan – College of the Holy Cross

Public Policy Associate

During my fall semester junior year, I interned at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I came to AFSP as a Psychology major with a passion for reducing the stigma around mental health and suicide, but knew little about public policy. Now, after leaving AFSP, not only has my passion for lowering stigma continued to grow, but I now also have a strong grasp on how policy works with regards to federal and state suicide prevention. Having the opportunity to combine my passion for mental health with policy gave me a unique chance to understand how what happens at the legislative level trickles down to the clinical level to ensure for the best possible care.

Through tracking laws and bills on sites like Congress Plus, Congress.gov, Fiscal Note, and Lexis Nexis I was able to learn about public policy in ways that I never would have been able to in a college class room. I also had a lot of opportunities to leave the office and engage hands on in suicide prevention with government. One of these opportunities was getting to attend Congressional hearings and briefings about suicide prevention. Here, I was able to learn more about suicide prevention issues and listen to members of government discuss legislation that will save lives. Additionally, I attended the first ever D.C. State Capitol day where I met with staffers of D.C. state representatives to talk about the importance of a suicide prevention bill.

My internship at AFSP furthermore gave me the opportunity to conduct two independent research projects as part of AFSP’s website under public policy priorities. This offered me a valuable opportunity to learn about key issues regarding suicide prevention, and put together a project that will help to educate others.

I have been blessed and beyond thankful for the opportunity to intern at AFSP. This was a profound experience, which I have learned so much in. I want to thank John, Nicole, Taylor, Chelsey, Natalie, Connor, and my fellow intern Noah. I would never have been able to have this successful of an internship experience if it were not for them. They all made it a pleasure to come in to work every morning and provided a constant wealth of knowledge. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone eager to learn about, and engage in, suicide prevention advocacy.