WASHINGTON (September 10, 2020) – 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.