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WASHINGTON (June 24, 2015) – Each year in the United States, suicide claims over 41,000 lives – more than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. On average, one person dies by suicide every 8.5 hours in Washington State. On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, presented the Allies in Action State Award to State Representative Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines, WA) for her exemplary work in preventing this leading cause of death. On Tuesday, June 23, 2015, she was recognized at the organization’s Advocacy Forum attended by more than 240 AFSP volunteer field advocates from all 50 states.
“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 Orwall’s, 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 Orwall, not only in public policy, but in raising the importance of mental health and suicide prevention issues in her home state of Washington.”
State Representative Orwall is being recognized for her steadfast support of suicide prevention and mental health and leadership over the past four years on HB 2366 (2012), HB 1336 and HB 1376 (2013), HB 2315 (2014), and this year’s HB 1138 and HB 1424, which together have significantly expanded suicide prevention and mental health initiatives across Washington State.
State Representative Orwall was recognized with this award along with State Representatives Steve Eliason (R-Sandy, Utah), and Marlene Anielski (R, Walton Hills, Ohio).
Suicide in Washington
Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death overall in Washington. On average, one person dies by suicide every 8.5 hours in the state. Suicide cost Washington a total of $1,114,435,000 of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1,164,509 per suicide death.
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