The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Honors Representative Napolitano's Health Legislative Assistant Jonah Cunningham for Exceptional Service
Jun 24, 2015, 08:07 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 average, one person dies by suicide every 15 hours in Utah, Mr. Cunningham's home state. 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 Congressional Staff Award to Jonah Cunningham, Representative Grace Napolitano's health legislative assistant for his 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 their staff who have helped us push suicide prevention to the forefront of our legislative process. With contributions like Mr. Cunningham'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 Cunningham, and allows local community members, who have lost a family member to suicide, to show their gratitude for his leadership in suicide prevention and access to mental health services."
Mr. Cunningham started as an intern on Capitol Hill and has risen from staff assistant, to legislative fellow, to legislative assistant in just three years. Cunningham earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in political science with a business minor.
Only two awards were given in this category for this year's annual awards ceremony. Along with Jonah Cunningham, the award was also given to Rachel Lipsey, the military legislative assistant for Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN).
Suicide in Utah
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-44 in Utah, and the 6th leading cause of death in the state. Suicide cost Utah a total of $629,958,000 of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1,331,835 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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