Submitted by DES Communications.
Born and raised in Tacoma, Cindy-Guertin Anderson recently won Governor Jay Inslee’s Award for Leadership in Management. She currently serves as Assistant Director of Workforce Support and Development for Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES). When DES nominated her for the award, she led Washington state’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. It is estimated there are 25 suicide attempts for every death by suicide, costing the US $69 billion a year. Washington state government had no formal program or resources for employees struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Recognizing the need and the potential cost to the state if this gap continued unfilled, Cindy brought together subject matter experts from six state agencies, the Governor’s Policy Office and four non-profits to create a Suicide Prevention Workgroup.
The workgroup created and deployed tangible tools and resources. Now, more than 65,000 state workers and 35,000 other public-sector workers can proactively prevent and respond to suicide. Her passionate and inclusive leadership has changed thousands of lives.
“Cindy’s efforts to establish a Suicide Prevention Workgroup for Washington state have been tremendous. She recognized a gap in services and also kept in mind the potential cost to the state for lost employee productivity and increased health care charges. I am proud that EAP is a part of DES,” said Chris Liu, agency director for Washington State Department of Enterprise Services.