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Gianforte Announces Spirit of Montana Recipient: Joan Nye of Columbus

November 16, 2018
Press Release

Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte recognized Joan Nye of Columbus with his Spirit of Montana commendation for her selfless devotion to the survivors of suicide loss and her tireless efforts to prevent suicide in Montana.

A survivor of suicide loss, Nye has worked with and led organizations dedicated to the prevention of suicide and the support of those impacted by suicide for more than 14 years.

Gianforte’s Spirit of Montana is a weekly recognition of Montanans for their accomplishments, dedication, or service. Gianforte highlights the recipient in the U.S. House of Representatives and personally contacts the honorees.

Gianforte encourages anyone to nominate Montanans for the Spirit of Montana award by contacting his office at 202-225-3211 or by e-mail at

Gianforte’s statement in the Congressional Record about Nye is available HERE and follows:


Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Joan Nye of Columbus for her efforts to prevent suicide in Montana and the support she provides the survivors of suicide loss.

Ms. Nye serves on the executive board of the Montana chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and has led the organization for a decade as its chairwoman. She facilitates a support group for survivors of suicide loss and has been an active member of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Yellowstone Valley since its formation in 2004. The group sponsors monthly meetings, outreach events, fundraisers, and seminars.

A survivor of suicide loss, Ms. Nye chairs the AFSP Montana chapter’s education committee which focuses on suicide prevention education and training. She helps health professionals, family members, and others learn to identify the risk factors and warning signs of suicide and how to seek help.

Ms. Nye is a key organizer of the Out of the Darkness Yellowstone Valley Walk, which raised nearly $90,000 in September for AFSP to invest in research, education, outreach, and support services.

Her efforts are critical in Montana which has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. On average, a Montanan dies by suicide every 33 hours. Tragically, it is the eighth leading cause of death in Montana, and it is the second leading cause of death for young Americans.

Suicide, however, is preventable, and dedicated and compassionate advocates like Joan Nye are helping to save lives and end the stigma surrounding suicide.

Mr. Speaker, for her selfless devotion to the survivors of suicide loss and her tireless efforts to prevent suicide in Montana, I recognize Joan Nye for her spirit of Montana.