“I am honored to receive this award,” Reid said. “My father took his own life many years ago, but back then nobody ever talked about suicide or mental illness. Suicide is devastating for families and communities, and spreading awareness helps to save lives. I have worked hard to improve suicide prevention and mental health services to ensure that all Americans have opportunities to seek help.”
“Suicide prevention in the U.S. got jump started 16 years ago as a result of Senator Reid’s courage and leadership,” Berman said. “On behalf of the AAS, I am pleased to present the 2012 Public Policy Award in recognition and in honor of the most significant role Senator Reid has played in our efforts to make a life-saving difference in the lives of the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens.”
“Through his own story, Sen. Reid has inspired others to speak up,” Jerry Reed said. “He knows that by letting people know that hope and help are available, we can make a difference through prevention, treatment and aftercare support. The Aevidum students are a shining example of this approach and their simple but powerful message of ‘I’ve got your back’ conveys to other students that they are not alone.”
With help from advocates, clinicians, researchers and survivors, Reid spearheaded the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, which created a comprehensive suicide prevention framework. He helped pass the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which funded research, training and technical assistance to prevent youth suicide.
AAS is a leader in the advancement of scientific and programmatic efforts in suicide prevention through research, education and training, the development of standards and resources, and survivor support services. SPRC is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. SPRC provides technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide.