Senator Harry Reid Given Lifetime Achievement Award by Nation's Largest Suicide Prevention Organization

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On average, one person dies by suicide every 15 hours in the state of Nevada. The nation’s largest organization dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention gave a Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday, June 14 to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid for his lifelong dedication to suicide prevention. Minority Leader Reid is a survivor of his father’s suicide.

“In the 105th Congress, Senator Reid had the foresight to introduce a groundbreaking Senate resolution, Senate Resolution 84 which declared that the Senate recognizes suicide as a national problem and declared suicide prevention a national priority. AFSP is proud to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Senator Harry Reid in recognition of his distinguished career advocating for mental health,” said Bob Gebbia, AFSP CEO. “We would also like to acknowledge his introduction, in 1999, of a resolution that lead to the creation of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Designated by the United States Congress as a day on which friends and family of those who have died by suicide can join together for healing and support. The day has grown dramatically and has brought hope to countless people affected by suicide.”

On the Saturday before American Thanksgiving, last year, over 300 International Survivors of Suicide Loss gatherings took place in the United States and in 17 other countries worldwide.

Minority Leader Reid has also fought throughout his career to improve access to mental health services. He has helped secure the passage of federal mental health parity laws, and has championed efforts to increase funding to address youth suicide. This is the first time AFSP has given a Lifetime Achievement award.

Suicide in Nevada
Over three times as many people die by suicide in Nevada annually than by homicide. Suicide cost Nevada a total of $5.9 billion of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1 million per suicide death. Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death overall in Nevada.

** Photos of the award being presented available upon request. **

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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