Advocacy Campaign for Suicide
Application Assignment 2: Part 2 – Developing an Advocacy Campaign
TOPIC is Suicide Prevention
The following application, Part 2, will be due 10/16/2016 by 3 pm central
Review Chapter 3 of Milstead, J. A. (2012). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers
In the first assignment, you reflected on whether the policy you would like to promote could best be achieved through the development of new legislation, or a change in an existing law or regulation. Refine as necessary using any feedback from your first paper.
Contemplate how existing laws or regulations may affect how you proceed in advocating for your proposed policy.
Consider how you could influence legislators or other policymakers to enact the policy you propose.
Think about the obstacles of the legislative process that may prevent your proposed policy from being implemented as intended.
Part Two will have approximately 3–4 pages of content plus a title page and references. Part Two will address the following:
Explain whether your proposed policy could be enacted through a modification of existing law or regulation or the creation of new legislation/regulation.
Explain how existing laws or regulations could affect your advocacy efforts. Be sure to cite and reference the laws and regulations using primary sources.
Provide an analysis of the methods you could use to influence legislators or other policymakers to support your policy. In particular, explain how you would use the “three legs” of lobbying in your advocacy efforts.
Summarize obstacles that could arise in the legislative process and how to overcome these hurdles.
Advocacy Campaign for Suicide
Suicide among the veterans is an aspect of concern that is affecting families and loved ones. The increasing number of suicides requires the implementation of sound policies geared towards its prevention. Therefore, the advocacy that focuses on awareness and communal involvement towards maintaining an enabling environment for veterans should be a step forward in reducing suicides. Therefore, this paper will examine the advocacy as per the case questions.
Explain whether you proposed policy could be enacted through a modification of existing law or regulation or the creation of new legislation/regulation
Modification of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010 is a viable approach towards encompassing the proposed policy. The Act emphasizes on the notion that it is mandatory for trained individuals to conduct post-deployment health evaluation (Bullman, et al. 2015). As a proposed policy focused towards community awareness and involvement in the reduction of suicide rates, the use of the Act will necessitate additional stipulations on veteran suicide rates. Hence, additional to the Act should denote focusing on:
- Additional funding to call centers for more staff for regular communication with the veterans
- Mandatory policy for organizations to set aside job positions for veterans
- Federal funding for the counseling programs available for veterans
- Regular visitation of the veterans by social workers and counselors
Explain how existing laws or regulation could affect your advocacy efforts
The Freedom of Information Act part B5 may pose a daunting prospect in the advocacy efforts. In reference to McCarten, et al., (2015) the part emphasizes on the notion that Army officers should not reveal secretive information on their acts under combat. As an advocacy effort that focuses on generating awareness on the causes of suicide and measures to reduce suicide by the veterans, information revelation by the veterans will be in a minimal manner. The majority of the veterans may be unwilling to reveal the details of the mission that they undertook that led to their trauma.
On the other hand, Privacy Act of 1974 may impede on the advocacy efforts (Maynard & Boyko, 2015). Maintaining contact with the military veterans is reliant on having access to their personal information. Without their consent, it should constitute as privacy infringement that is illegal as per the Act. Further, maintaining regular calls should be as a result of informed consent by the veterans or it will constitute as privacy infringement.
Methods to influence legislators or other policy makers to support the policy
Advocacy for the policy will depend on the three-legged stool approach. To ensure effectiveness, the use of the Capitol leg, community/grassroots, and the media leg will necessitate successful advocacy. Therefore, like the first, the Capitol leg will denote focusing on the legislative representatives. The lobbying approach will entail communicating with the local representatives through face-to-face meetings, and presentation of the written proposal of the policy will articulate the seriousness of the suicide issue among the veterans. On the other hand, community or grassroots advocacy will entail communicating with families directly affected because of their veteran family members who committed suicide. Through close communication with families affected, the formation of lobby groups, peaceful demonstrations towards spreading the word on suicide is bound to prevail (Kang, et al., 2015). As such, the use of families directly affected by the loss of their veteran family member to suicide will generate awareness on the issue and generate public sensitivity to the veteran suicide (Bryan, et al., 2015). Lastly, the media leg will play a pivotal role towards generating a wider form of awareness of veteran suicide. The prospect of 8000 veterans committing suicide annually requires public awareness. Hence, the use of social media and television will generate a wider scope of outreach on veteran suicide. The use of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to generate pages of individuals grappling with the suicide of their veteran loved ones is an effective approach to reach out on the need for implementing the policy. Further, televised interviews on the topic of veteran suicide are essential considering the high number of individuals that watch television. The use of known news channels such as Fox and CNN news will ensure mass reach on the suicide issue.
Obstacles that could arise in the legislative process and how to overcome these hurdles
The legislative process may be faced by non-involvement of the veterans. As the subject of interest in the lobbying process, a majority of the veterans are ashamed to talk about suicide or mental illness; and how it affects them. Most importantly, veterans are afraid to open up due to reprimand emanating from their peers the administration. Hence, the non-involvement of the veterans in the lobbying process can be handled through the involvement of the families of the veterans. As such, the involvement of the families in the lobbying process can present a firsthand account on the day-to-day life that the relatives have to go through. Further, to involve the veterans, proposing censoring their faces, names and voices in the television interview process is a viable move to generate awareness on the mental health problems they face in their day-to-day lives (Bryan, et al., 2015). Most importantly, generating information on the shortfalls of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment should generate information on the changes that need to be undertaken.
Suicide among veterans requires concerted efforts. The
involvement of both individuals and organizations in tackling the issue is an
important approach to necessitate collaboration and generation of an effective
policy. Despite the evident challenges for the implementation of the policy,
the use of the lobbying tools and involvement of the families affected should
present awareness on the veteran suicide problem.
Bryan, C. J., Griffith, J. E., Pace, B. T., Hinkson, K., Bryan, A. O., Clemans, T. A., & Imel, Z. E. (2015). Combat Exposure and Risk for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors among Military Personnel and Veterans: A Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 45(5), 633-649.
Bullman, T., Hoffmire, C., Schneiderman, A., & Bossarte, R. (2015). Time-Dependent Gender Differences in Suicide Risk among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans. Annals of Epidemiology, 25(12), 964-965.
Kang, H. K., Bullman, T. A., Smolenski, D. J., Skopp, N. A., Gahm, G. A., & Reger, M. A. (2015). Suicide Risk among 1.3 Million Veterans Who Were On Active Duty during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Annals of Epidemiology, 25(2), 96-100.
Maynard, C., & Boyko, E. J. (2015). Datapoints: Suicide Rates in the Washington State Veteran Population. Psychiatric Services.
Mccarten, J. M., Hoffmire, C. A., & Bossarte, R. M. (2015). Changes in Overall and Firearm Veteran Suicide Rates by Gender, 2001–2010. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 48(3), 360-364.