Events to Raise Awareness of Suicide Prevention in Hawai‘i
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch, in partnership with the Prevent Suicide Hawaiʻi Task Force, will host a series of community events in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month in September.
According to the DOH, suicide is the leading cause of fatal injuries for people ages 15 to 44 and is the ninth leading cause of all deaths in the state. From 2012-2016, there were 887 deaths from suicides in Hawaiʻi. On average, one person dies by suicide every two days in our state.
“During National Suicide Prevention month in September, events will be held statewide to raise public awareness about the topic of suicide, the impact of suicides in Hawaiʻi, and to connect survivors with postvention services,” said Nancy Deeley, DOH Suicide Prevention Coordinator. “These annual community events strengthen our efforts to identify effective strategies to reduce the risk factors for suicide.”
Each year, volunteers organize “Out of Darkness” Walks, which are an important event for increasing awareness of suicide prevention resources and the available support for at-risk individuals, loved ones of suicide survivors, and the public.
On Oʻahu, more than 800 participants, including representatives from all branches of the military, took part in the 2016 Out of Darkness Walk and more than 1,000 are expected for this year’s event on Sept. 9 at Magic Island.
Mental health experts encourage individuals who have suffered losses or experienced extremely stressful events to talk with someone about their thoughts and feelings.
If you are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, or know someone who is, call the Crisis Line of Hawaiʻi at 832-3100 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
National Suicide Prevention Month Activities on Oʻahu for September 2017
· Sept. 6 (10 a.m.): Joint Service Proclamation Signing at Hickam Air Force Base Missing Man Memorial. Contact Brent Oto at [email protected] or (808) 478-8722.
· Sept. 9 (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.): Out of the Darkness Walk at Magic Island. Contact Pua Kaninau-Santos at [email protected] or (808) 271-8582.
· Sept. 11 (3 p.m.): Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell proclamation signing in the Mayor’s Conference Room at Honolulu Hale. Contact Nancy Deeley at [email protected] or (808) 733-9238.
· Sept. 11: LifeKeeper Memory Quilt Square Workshop at Liliʻuokalani Trust, 87-1876 Farrington Highway. Contact Pua Kaninau-Santos at [email protected] or (808) 851-7817.
· Sept. 18 (1 – 2:30 p.m.): F4EO (Fight for Each Other) – a talk with people directly impacted by suicide – at Sgt. Smith Theatre, Schofield Barracks. Contact Brent Oto at [email protected] or (808) 478-8722.
· Sept. 22 (11 a.m.): Gov. David Ige Proclamation Signing in the governor’s office at the State Capitol. Contact: Nancy Deeley at [email protected] or (808) 733-9238.
· Sept. 22-24 (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.): The Good Life Expo Seniors Fair at the Neal Blaisdell Arena will have a Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force Resource table. Contact Pua Kaninau-Santos at [email protected] or (808) 851-7817.
Neighbor Island Events
For information on National Suicide Prevention Month Activities on the neighbor islands, contact the following:
· East Hawaiʻi: Yolisa Duley, Chair, East Hawaiʻi Prevent Suicide Hawaiʻi Task Force, at
[email protected] or (808) 932-7462.
· West Hawaiʻi: Nancy Sallee, Chair, West Hawaiʻi Prevent Suicide Hawaiʻi Task Force, at [email protected] or (808) 333-8988.
· Kauaʻi: Madeline Hiraga-Nuccio, Chair, Kauaʻi Prevent Suicide Hawaiʻi Task Force, at [email protected] or (808) 274-3890.
· Maui: Aris Banaag, Chair, Maui Prevent Suicide Hawaiʻi Task Force, at (808) 984-3278.