On February 22, 2017, The Jason Foundation (JFI) visited University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to present him the Grant Teaff/Jason Foundation “Breaking the Silence” Award for Outstanding Leadership in Youth Suicide Prevention, which was awarded to Saban at the American Football Coaches Association’s (AFCA) Annual Convention in Nashville.
This trophy honors those that have aided JFI in spreading awareness and prevention of youth suicide. Coach Saban was awarded for his passionate efforts to help introduce and pass The Jason Flatt Act – Alabama.
“His work to build support across the state for this life-saving legislation was pivotal for its success,” says Clark Flatt of The Jason Foundation.
Saban is the only two-time recipient of this award. He was also honored at the 2012 AFCA Convention. Each year, The Jason Foundation presents this award in front of thousands of coaches during a General Session at the Annual Convention.
The Jason Flatt Act is a legislative action that makes training for suicide awareness and prevention a required subject for teacher’s In-Service/Certification.
“The Jason Flatt Act’s purpose is not to make teachers into counselors, but rather to equip our educators with the information, tools and resources to better identify and assist young people who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide,” says Flatt.
Four out of five young people who attempt suicide will demonstrate “warning signs” that can be recognized and help can be obtained before a tragedy occurs. Alabama is one of 19 states that have now passed The Jason Flatt Act.
The National Organization of Coaches Association Directors (NOCAD) was also awarded during this year’s Convention. JFI affiliated with NOCAD in February 2016. They are actively reaching out to their 38 member associations, which represent more than 155,000 coaches across the country, to provide programs and resources supplied by The Jason Foundation.
Since 2004, the AFCA has been a National Awareness Affiliate of The Jason Foundation to help address the national public health problem of youth suicide. To find out more about The Jason Foundation and the issue of youth suicide, visit www.jasonfoundation.com.
Pictured above are Nick Saban (University of Alabama) and Clark Flatt (The Jason Foundation).