American Association of Suicidology Announces Andrew W.K. as Person of the Year
Andrew W.K. is an overwhelmingly positive dude. Sure, everyone knows he’s a huge advocate of partying, but he’s also one of the nicest, sweetest, most down-to-earth guys in all of show biz.
And now he’s being recognized for it: The American Assocation of Suicidology has recognized Andrew W.K. as their Person of the Year for “his consistent and powerful use of positivity to improve the lives of those who read his writings, attend his lectures, and hear his music.”
Founded in 1968, AAS addresses every aspect of suicide and suicide prevention by bringing together a diverse mix of voices including leaders in research, prevention, crisis center workers, students, and suicide attempt and loss survivors. 2018 is the inaugural year of their Person of the Year award, which will be presented at their annual conference in Washington D.C. from April 18th through 21st.
“Andrew’s message resonates with the field of suicide prevention in that he encourages people to use their capabilities to create a life worth living,” says Julie Cerel, PhD, President of the American Association of Suicidology.
“Words cannot adequately convey my astonishment at having been selected for this unique recognition. I’m grateful to the American Association of Suicidology for the incredibly valuable work they’ve done for so long, and continue to do now, when it’s needed more than ever,” said Andrew W.K.
Here’s a longer statement from Andrew about his own battles with suicide and depression and what the award means to him:
“My story is a familiar one: from a young age, I felt consistently uneasy in the world, and thus began an ongoing search for something to quell the sense of wrongness inside of me. I was lucky enough to discover a life’s work which not only transmuted my darker tendencies into something brighter and more deserving of my energy, but also allowed me to amplify and share that quest with others. In my mission to find joyful meaning in life, I never imagined my rock and roll destiny would become a source of inspiration for those who also dwelled in the shadows. To reach into the abyss and somehow make contact with the unknown is both terrifying and miraculous, but even more terrifying and miraculous, is to reach into yourself and somehow make contact with your fellow man. It’s in this quintessential form of contact – this primal physical and emotional connection – that the Truth about life must surely be found. This is our challenge – to see if we can find the other person inside of us, and us in them, and to let this process of enlightened discovery open our hearts, and purify our minds.
“I’d like to humbly accept this award on behalf of all the people who work everyday at forging this sacred human bond. I’d like to accept this award on behalf of music itself, and on behalf of the mysterious life-force feeling I simply call “partying”. I’d like to accept this award on behalf of every person who has struggled and overcome, and struggled and fallen – for I have been both. I’d also like to accept this honor on behalf of every person who’s lost someone – or lost themselves – to seemingly insurmountable darkness. In a world of confusion, distress, and extraordinary challenges, there are few efforts more worthwhile than devoting oneself to the raising of the collective human spirit. If any of our work can contribute to this vast emergency – this crisis of joy – then may the Party Gods grant us ever more strength, so we may all help make the world a partier place.”