AFSP’s 2013 Grassroots Award, is named for Sandy Martin, who served on SPAN USA’s Board of Directors from 2002 to 2006. Sandy lost her 17-year-old son, Tony Martin, to suicide in 1988.
The Sandy Martin Grassroots Award is presented to “unsung heroes” working at the local, state or national level who clearly exemplify sustained commitment to the mission of suicide prevention. These grassroots advocates for suicide prevention devote their time and energy, many at great sacrifice to themselves and their families, to further the AFSP’s missions and programs. Last year, Steve Moore of Chicago, IL received this award.
This year’s winner, Linda de Sosa from Houston, Texas, is another quintessential example of someone who has been committed to and has a deep passion for suicide prevention and education.
Under Linda’s leadership:
- She continuously monitors her state level suicide prevention bills and sends letters of support or opposition;
- Testifies before the Texas state legislature, often on short notice;
- Travels to national political meetings to button-hole national and state lawmakers to educate them on the need for suicide prevention efforts, and;
- Has worked tirelessly to reduce stigma and make sure that all politicians on all sides of the aisle understand the cost not just personally, but to society, by not getting people the treatment they need.