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 Waldorf, Maryland resident Susan Maskaleris 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, Ms. Maskaleris is being honored for her years of dedication and service as a grassroots suicide prevention advocate.
"Sue Maskaleris is a passionate suicide prevention hero working to make the lives of Marylanders better every day. We are proud to present her with this prestigious award which she earned through her hard work and dedication. She 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.
Ms. Maskaleris serves as the Advocacy Chair of the AFSP Maryland Chapter and has gone above and beyond to motivate and engage her fellow AFSP Maryland Chapter members in the legislative process, raising the profile of the suicide prevention movement nationally and across Maryland. As the advocacy lead for the Maryland Chapter, Sue has been an example of the impact advocacy can have, from providing testimony and letters of support, to meeting with legislators and the Governor to share her knowledge and passion for suicide prevention.
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 Maryland
Suicide is a leading, yet preventable public health problem in Maryland. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for youth and young adults ages 10-34, the 4th leading cause for adults ages 35-44 in Maryland, and the 11th leading cause of death overall. More than five times as many people died by suicide in Maryland 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