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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

SPAN USA Announces New Field Liaisons in Virginia

SPAN USA is one step closer to reaching its goal to have 435 Field Liaisons across the country—one in every U.S. Congressional district

The Suicide Prevention Action Network USA, the nation’s leading grassroots advocacy organization working to advance public policies that prevent suicide, today announced two new grassroots leaders in its Field Liaison program.

Kelly Gifford will serve in the Field Liaison capacity for Virginia’s 1st U.S. Congressional District. Kelly is a survivor of suicide by her sibling and has made it her goal to raise awareness about suicide prevention and depression awareness. She has been active with Volunteer Fairfax, a local organization that organizes projects to assist the community, and she recently lead a team in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Reston, VA.

Peter Lewis has been named Field Liaison to represent Virginia’s 10th U.S. Congressional District. Peter, a survivor of suicide by his wife, became involved in suicide prevention by participating in the Prince William Suicide Support Group. Additionally, he created Wings of RememberanceTM jewelry to help him cope with her loss and eventually to help others cope with the loss of a loved one.

“As part of its mission, SPAN USA continues our effort to create and help implement strategies for suicide prevention on the national, state, and community levels,” explained Jerry Reed, SPAN USA’s executive director. “But we know that SPAN USA’s Washington, D.C. office cannot do this alone. SPAN USA’s Field Liaison program seeks to inspire others to raise their community’s awareness about suicide and help us spread the word that prevention is possible.”
“SPAN USA intends to spread the vision of suicide prevention to each and every member of Congress through one of their constituents in our network,” Reed said. SPAN USA’s grassroots ‘field network’ includes advocates, survivors, health professionals, and community leaders who have volunteered to serve as a SPAN USA field liaison. SPAN USA’s goal is to have 435 field liaisons across the country—one in every Congressional district in the United States.

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