Dr. Shayla Sullivant awarded Individual Advocate of the Year by Grandparents Against Gun Violence
Shayla Sullivant, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, has been awarded the Individual Advocate of the Year by Grandparents Against Gun Violence Association (GAGV), recognizing her hard work and dedication to the Lock It For Love initiation.
Lock It For Love (LIFL) is a gun safety education initiative launched by GAGV in July 2017 to prevent injuries and deaths from accidental shootings or suicides when curious children, despondent teens or older adults with dementia gain access to unlocked loaded guns in homes. It is based on the success of a similar initiative developed by St. Louis-based Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice.
Trained GAGV volunteers attend community events offering information about safe gun storage and providing free gun locks to parents, grandparents or other adults who have children living in or visiting their homes. Volunteers are accompanied by a police officer who demonstrates how to properly use the lock and answers questions about safe gun storage.
In its first year, GAGV brought the message of safe gun storage to people attending more than 40 events across the metropolitan Kansas City area and distributed more than 800 free gun locks, in partnership with police officers from Kansas City and Independence in Missouri, and Kansas City, Overland Park and Gardner in Kansas.
Dr. Sullivant is strongly committed to suicide prevention and seeks to promote realistic, practical approaches to keeping children and teens safe. Working with Lock it for Love, she has gotten the word out that “means matter”- advocating for reducing access to the most lethal methods of self-harm, including guns.