NEW YORK, May 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On average, one person dies by suicide every five hours in the state of Pennsylvania. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the nation's largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will be giving an award to Representative Mike Schlossberg of Pennsylvania's 132nd district for his efforts in helping to prevent suicide. The award will be presented to Representative Schlossberg on May 31 at 1 p.m. in his district office which is located at 2030 West Tilghman Street, Suite 100, Allentown, PA 18104. Interested media are invited to attend.
"With leaders like Representative Schlossberg who are willing to sponsor legislation that enhances mental health and suicide prevention, AFSP will be much closer to reaching its goal of reducing the suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025," said Robert Gebbia, the CEO of AFSP.
Representative Mike Schlossberg fights for mental health and suicide prevention daily within local and state governments, and continually advocates for people living with mental illness and for removing barriers to mental health treatment. In 2015 he helped create the bipartisan Mental Health Caucus, allowing him to focus on helping other members of the General Assembly and the citizens of Pennsylvania to understand mental health issues and concerns; he now serves as Democratic co-chair of the Caucus. He has also introduced a Resolution designating the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Pennsylvania each year he has been in office (since 2013).
He participated in a House Human Services Committee public hearing on April 2, 2015 titled "Eliminating Stigma in Mental Health," supporting a change in societal perception he believes is long overdue.
Representative Schlossberg lives with a mental illness himself, and is not afraid to talk publicly about his mental health. After the death of Robin Williams, he bravely detailed his own struggles with depression in a guest column in "The Morning Call".
He regularly attends and speaks at the AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk in Allentown, and in 2015 he was named Honorary Chair of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's annual Out of the Darkness walk.
Suicide in Pennsylvania
Over twice as many people die by suicide in Pennsylvania annually than by homicide. Suicide cost Pennsylvania a total of $1.8 billion of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1.1 million per suicide death. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in Pennsylvania.
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