On Thursday, September 18, the Congressional Spouses for Suicide Prevention and Education held a congressional briefing on “Mental Health First Aid for your Family and Community” that featured Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian.
Not only is Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian a celebrity chef, television host, author, writer, and mom of four, she is also a passionate advocate for suicide prevention and awareness having lost her own mother to suicide at the age of 20. A “Next Food Network Star” winner, Melissa is well known for “Ten Dollar Dinners” – her popular cooking show and New York Times best-selling cookbook. Her newest projects include: acclaimed FoodNetwork.com series, “The Picky Eaters Project,” serving as a judge on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games,” debuting her second cookbook “Supermarket Healthy” on December 30, and writing a weekly column for The Associated Press.
The Congressional Spouse group is co-chaired by Deborah Bonito (Anchorage, Alaska), Mary Jo Gibson (Kinderhook, New York), Catherine “Smitty” Connolly (Fairfax, Virginia), and Bobbi Barrasso (Casper, Wyoming).
The panel included Melissa d’Arabian; Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP); and Betsy Schwartz, Vice President of Public Education for the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Melissa shared her personal story as a survivor of suicide after losing her mother 25 years ago while Dr. Moutier and Betsy Schwartz spoke about the risk factors and warning signs of suicide in addition to the relationship between depression and patients diagnosed with a chronic disease, and Mental Health First Aid, respectively.
Following the briefing Melissa visited personally with Senator Mark Begich (Alaska), Representative Paul Tonko (New York), Representative Ron Barber (Arizona), and Representative Grace Napolitano (California). To watch Melissa on Senator Begich’s Begich Minute, click here.