Michael – Wilfrid Laurier University

Public Policy Associate

I recently had the opportunity to spend an incredible four months in Washington D.C. working as a public policy associate at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Coming to Washington from Canada was a big leap, but it would be impossible to overstate just how pleased I am with my choice to work with this incredible group. My work has been both interesting personally and rewarding professionally.  The people whom I have come to call both my colleagues and friends are connections who I intend to maintain over the years, and have played no small part in making my time in Washington D.C. incredible.

From the vast array of practical experience I have gained to the amazing personal memories I have made, I do not regret a thing about my choice to work with AFSP and aid in its critically important mission. From the first time I talked to my boss John on the phone, he told me about how valuable our positions are and the importance of the work we do. He said that we would not be glorified coffee-fetchers and would be able to get a truly rewarding internship experience. He was absolutely right.

I am especially proud to have gotten the opportunity to work throughout AFSP’s annual advocacy forum in Washington D.C. Throughout this incredible experience I got to meet hundreds of interesting and passionate advocates for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. To be surrounded by so much enthusiasm and energy for such an incredible cause was truly eye opening. AFSP’s work in the capital is truly important, and everything that I have seen throughout my time here has only reinforced that notion. I hope that they will continue to succeed in breaking down the barriers surrounding mental health awareness and continue helping to save lives. Although much has been accomplished, there remains much more to be done. I am sure that the future public policy associates in my footsteps will make great strides in this regard, and I wish them and all my colleagues here the best of luck.