The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Honors Kasia Witjowski from the United States Department of Health and Human Services for Exceptional Service
Jun 24, 2015, 08:21 ET
WASHINGTON, June 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each year in the United States, suicide claims over 41,000 lives – more than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. On Tuesday, June 23, 2015, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, presented the Allies in Action Federal Partner Award to Kasia Witjowski for her exemplary work in preventing this leading cause of death. More than 240 AFSP volunteer field advocates from all 50 states were in attendance as part of the organization's Advocacy Forum.
"For six years we have been honoring members of Congress and policymakers who have helped us push suicide prevention to the forefront of our legislative process. With contributions like Ms. Witjowski's, we are much closer to achieving our goal of reducing the suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025," said John Madigan, AFSP vice president of public policy. "This award recognizes the invaluable contributions made by Witjowski, and allows local community members, who have lost a family member to suicide, to show their gratitude for her leadership in suicide prevention and access to mental health services."
Hailing from New York originally, Witjowski won this award for leading efforts in the US Department of Health and Human Services to promote the importance of enrolling in the health insurance marketplace. By doing this, she helped ensure services for mental health and substance use disorders were covered for more Americans than ever before.
Suicide in New York
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 25-34 in New York, and the 12th leading cause of death in the state. Suicide cost New York a total of $1,806,769,000 of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1,167,918 per suicide death.
** Photos of the award being presented available upon request. **
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention leads the fight against suicide. We fund research, offer educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has 75 local chapters with programs and events nationwide. Review our Annual Report to learn more about AFSP's life-saving work. Join the national conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
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