Didi Hirsch Press Release - Bloom

For Immediate Release                                           



LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2013 – Each year, the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare in Washington, D.C., honors inspirational individuals and organizations whose advocacy and service have improved the lives of children, adults, and families living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders.  In partnership with Eli Lilly and Company, the Welcome Back Award for Community Service will be presented to Lois and Sam Bloom of Rancho Palos Verdes for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of those who have lost loved ones to suicide.

The Blooms have been longtime volunteers of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services’ Suicide Prevention Center in Culver City. They will be presented with a $10,000 award, to be donated to a charity of their choice, on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Las Vegas at the National Council‘s Celebration of Excellence Awards Dinner.

When Lois and Sam Bloom’s son died by suicide in 1982, the worst tragedy that parents can imagine became their reality.  They reached out to the Suicide Prevention Center for help at a time when most people endured in silence; as a result, they survived as a couple and came to view their pain as a gift to help others.  They became respected political advocates at the local, state, and national level for suicide prevention and helped to pioneer techniques to heal survivors.  Thirty years later, hundreds of survivors remain grateful to the couple whose work continues to this day.

“It all started out because we wanted to honor Sammy,” Lois says.  “But it’s more than that now: we want to save lives.”   Sam adds, “Most people don’t want to do this …. our friends would say, ‘Are you still hanging out with those suicide people?’ But we don’t have many real friends asking that anymore.”

Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center’s Crisis Line serves callers 24 hours a day in English and Spanish from California and beyond.  It is managed by staff and over 200 trained volunteers. Callers can reach the crisis line at its local toll-free number, 1-877-7-CRISIS (1-877-727-4747), or at the national number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

More information about the National Council awards can be found at www.thenationalcouncil.org

Photo (7mb) of the Bloom’s may be downloaded at:  http://www.didihirsch.org/sites/default/files/bloom.JPG

Photo Caption: Sam and Lois Bloom - recipients of the Welcome Back Award for their 30 years of volunteer service to the community pictured at Didi Hirsch with their daughter Lisa Williams (center)

About Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

With more than 70 years of experience, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services transforms lives by providing quality mental health care and substance abuse services in communities where stigma or poverty limit access. From 11 locations and 65 schools throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties, Didi Hirsch helps more than 74,000 children and adults each year, offering services that range from community education to outpatient care to residential treatment.  Its Suicide Prevention Center was the first in the nation.  Learn more at www.didihirsch.org.

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