On Thursday, February 27, AFSP honored its 2014 Allies in Action Award winners at an reception held at the Reserve Officers Association's Top of the Hill Banquet and Conference Center.
The annual reception brings together mental health professionals, suicide prevention allies, congressional leaders, and state and national partners. Award recipients are recognized for their dedication and leadership efforts in suicide prevention and education.
This year’s award winners are as follows:
Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) – For introducing as his first bill in Congress the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act (S. 810)
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) – For her support of, along with Senator Mark Begich, the Mental Health First Aid Act (S. 153) in the United States Senate
Representative Bill Cassidy (R-LA) – For introducing the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Reauthorization (H.R. 2734) in the United States House of Representatives
Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) – For introducing the Native American Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 1599) in the United States House of Representatives
Congressional Staff Awards
Diane DiSanto, Senior Legislative Assistant, Office of Alaska Senator Mark Begich – For her leadership in the United States Senate in promoting AFSP Federal Policy Priorities including the Mental Health First Aid Act (S.153) and the National Violent Death Reporting System as well as providing much needed staff support to the Congressional Spouses for Suicide Prevention and Education
Lauren Alfred, Legislative Director, Office of Representative Ron Barber – For her leadership in the United States House of Representatives on the Mental Health First Aid Act (H.R. 274)
The Trevor Project, National Association of School Psychologists, and American School Counselor Association – For collaborating with AFSP in our work to create a Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention
Federal Partner Award
Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education – For leading efforts in the Department of Education to promote anti-bullying policies in schools across the United States, including the development of stopbullying.gov, a website for parents, educators, teens, kids, and communities that want to stop bullying
Keith Hotle J.D., MPA - For his work as a Suicide Prevention Specialist within Wyoming’s Department of Health Mental Health Division, and for overseeing the suicide prevention initiative in Wyoming, which has the highest rate of suicide in the United States of America