WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Health Organization declares September 10 as World Suicide Prevention Day where around the world, people and organizations raise awareness that suicide can be prevented. To create awareness and honor those working to prevent this tragic loss of life, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention presented volunteer advocate and Lake Charles, Louisiana resident Ken Brown with the national Sandy Martin Grassroots Field Advocate of the Year Award at the annual Allies in Action Awards ceremony on Thursday, September 10. As a Field Ambassador, Mr. Brown worked to ensure all K-12 teachers across Louisiana received suicide awareness training and pushed further for adequate training and reporting requirements to strengthen this law.
"Ken Brown is a passionate suicide prevention hero working to make the lives of Louisiana citizens better every day. We are proud to present him with this prestigious award which he earned through his hard work and dedication. He is a true lifesaver and grassroots leader in AFSP's mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide," said Robert Gebbia, AFSP CEO.
Ken has been instrumental in the effort to make public officials prioritize suicide prevention legislation nationally and throughout Louisiana. He is a current Board Member with the AFSP Louisiana Chapter and has been a driving force behind the suicide prevention movement as a volunteer advocate. Mr. Brown has demonstrated the impact that advocacy can have on the state and local level.
The Sandy Martin Grassroots Field Advocate of the Year Award recognizes volunteer Field Advocates who have devoted their time to working with public officials, networking with state and local agencies and organizations, recruiting others to work for the cause, and furthering AFSP's public policy priorities. The online awards ceremony included volunteers who have lost loved ones to suicide or who have their own lived experience of a suicide attempt, along with mental health professionals, suicide prevention allies, members of Congress and their staff, and other leaders in the field. This awards ceremony coincides with a campaign AFSP is championing for National Suicide Prevention Week (September 6-12), the #KeepGoing campaign.
To learn about the other award winners, visit: afsp2020advocacyawards.attendease.com.
Suicide in Louisiana
Suicide is a leading, yet preventable public health problem in Louisiana. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for youth ages 10-14 and the 3rd leading cause for teens and young adults ages 15-34 in Louisiana, and the 11th leading cause of death overall. More than three times as many people died by suicide in Louisiana in 2018 than in alcohol related motor vehicle accidents.
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