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, from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, presented the 2015 Allies in Action State Award to State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) for her exemplary work in preventing suicide, the silent epidemic. 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 State Representative Anielski, we are much closer to achieving our goal of reducing the suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025,” saidJohn Madigan, AFSP vice president of public policy. “This award recognizes the invaluable contributions made by Representative Anielski, 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.”

State Representative Anielski is being recognized for her steadfast support of suicide prevention and leadership over the past four years on HB 543 (2012), HB 149 (2013), HB 609 (2014), and this year’s HB 28, which together have significantly raised awareness of suicide as a public health problem and expanded youth suicide prevention initiatives in Ohio. 

“I humbly accept the award on behalf of my colleagues in the Ohio General Assembly who have consistently recognized and supported these life saving initiatives,” Rep. Anielski said. “I look forward to continuing my work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Currently, there is FREE prevention training for all schools, kindergarten through college.  We all need to work together to remove the stigma while protecting our most precious gifts, our children.”

Suicide in Ohio

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in Ohio. Suicide cost Ohio a total of $1,736,643,000 of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1,206,840 per suicide death.

State Representative Anielski was recognized with this award along with State Representatives Steve Eliason (R-Sandy, UT), and Tina Orwell (D-Des Moines, WA).

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