Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, June 16, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:1





(WASHINGTON, DC) This week, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte) received awards 
from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the National Action 
Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance)/American Association of Suicidology 
(AAS), for her leadership in mental health and suicide prevention.

 “Stigma continues to be our greatest obstacle to ensuring our loved ones, friends, neighbors, 
and coworkers get help when in need,”Napolitano said. “This stigma has real consequences 
as we all were saddened to learn last week of two high-profile deaths by suicide. It goes 
beyond the wealthy and well-known. Mental health affects everyone, and we must remind 
those around us it is always okay to seek help. The recent worrisome CDC report shows 
suicide rates are continuing to rise, but now is not the time to lose hope. Now is the time 
to work harder. I am grateful to AFSP and Action Alliance/AAS for these recognitions and 
our continued partnerships to reduce stigma, increase the access and availability of mental 
health services, and stop suicide.”

 Napolitano was presented AFSP’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” at a reception on 
Tuesday evening. A video of the award presentation and Napolitano’s acceptance speech can 
be viewed here.

 “Representative Napolitano is a true champion of change. As the largest suicide prevention 
organization in the country, we are fortunate to have her commitment and leadership to 
mental health and suicide prevention. Leaders like Rep. Napolitano inspire all of us to keep 
fighting for the life-saving work to reduce the suicide rate and bring hope to those affected 
by suicide,” said Bob Gebbia, AFSP CEO.

 Dr. Jerry Reed, Executive Committee member of the Action Alliance and Senior Vice 
President of EDC, and Colleen Creighton, Executive Director of AAS, presented the AAS 
Public Policy Award to Napolitano in her DC office.

 “We recognize and appreciate Congresswoman 
Grace Napolitano’s commitment to advancing 
the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, and 
elevating awareness of the resources needed to combat 
suicide at the national level. Her persistence and 
steadfastness to suicide prevention in her district and 
across the nation has been incredible which is why she 
is so deserving of this award. From improving access 
to crisis services to enhancing federal investments in 
suicide prevention, the Congresswoman has gone to 
great lengths to ensure fewer people are impacted by 
this preventable public health issue,” said Dr. Reed and 
Ms. Creighton.

 Napolitano is the founder of the Congressional 
Mental Health Caucus, where she works alongside 
her co-chair, Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24), to promote 
access to mental health services for children and 
adolescents, improved mental health resources for 
veterans, and increased mental health coverage for all.

 In 2001 Napolitano secured federal funding 
to create a pilot program to provide on-site, culturally 
and linguistically appropriate mental health services 
and suicide prevention services for students. With 
assistance from Los Angeles County Mental Health, 
her successful program, which began in four schools, 
has now expanded to 26 schools throughout the San 
Gabriel Valley and Southeast LA County. It now serves 
as a model for H.R. 2913, the Mental Health in Schools 
Act. H.R. 2913 currently has 62 cosponsors and the 
support of mental health and education organizations 
from across the country.

 If you or someone you know needs help, call 
the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-
TALK (8255).

Katie Orth626.688.0418 
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