Events planned to raise awareness for suicide prevention and promote mental health
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness in the community about this important public health issue. The Hawai’i State Department of Health and its partners are holding a series of events to call attention to this issue and promote mental health resources.
“Suicide is serious, complex and preventable. Effective suicide prevention strategy is comprehensive. It requires the coordinated efforts at all levels of society and participation of individuals, families, and communities. We all can help prevent suicide,” said Alvin C. Bronstein MD, chief of the DOH Emergency Medical Services & Injury Prevention System Branch.
Suicide continues to be one of the leading causes of preventable death for Hawai‘i residents. On average, almost four people die from suicide every week. A total of 1,003 residents died from suicide from 2018 to 2022.
More than 76% of individuals in Hawai’i who die by suicide are men, with men ages 20 to 59 years old at the highest risk.
Gina Kaulukukui, co-chair of the Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i Task Force, said, “Suicide is a multifaceted issue that impacts all of our communities across the state. Our comprehensive approach to suicide prevention enhances hope, help and healing to protect our ʻohana.”
Stefany Garcia, co-chair of the Joint Military Suicide Prevention Task Force, said, “We will continue to join forces with the Department of Health Emergency Medical Services & Injury Prevention System Branch and Hawai‘i Governor’s Challenge to tackle the devastating issue of suicide among service members and veterans in our community.”
Isolation and talking about hopelessness or having no reason to live are warning signs of suicide. If you or someone are experiencing any of these signs, talk to a trusted friend, family member or mental health professional.
- The Hawai‘i CARES 988 is a free, crisis, mental health and substance use call center. Locally trained and qualified clinical and crisis call center staff provide supportive counseling, screening for urgent or emergent mental health or substance use needs, recommendations for behavioral health assessments, services, and crisis interventions. Call or text 988. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, visit hicares.hawaii.gov.
- To learn more about suicide prevention in Hawai‘i, participate in free, anonymous online suicide prevention training or request in-person suicide prevention trainings,visit https://health.hawaii.gov/emsipsb/injury-prevention/suicide-prevention/.
- The Hawai‘i Poison Center provides help for poisoning emergencies. Call 1-800-222-1222. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, visit hipoisoncenter.org.
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Hawai’i Chapter brings people together from all backgrounds. To learn more, visit www.afsp.org/hawaii.
- To learn more about suicide prevention best practices, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Suicide Prevention Resource for Action’s website.
2023 Suicide Prevention Month Events
- Governor Josh Green proclamation
- Sept.1: 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Kaua‘i Mental Health Advocates’ “Light Up the Night” glow golf fundraiser event at the Ocean Course at Hōkūala to support clinical services and suicide prevention workshops. To register, visit rb.gy/cwjwc
- To donate or become a volunteer of the Prevent Suicide Kaua‘i Task Force, contact Patricia Wistinghausen at [email protected] or 808-346-7492.
- For updates on activities, visit: PreventSuicideKauai.org.
- Sept.9: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out-of-the-Darkness Walk Oahu and Resource Fair, Sky Gate, Honolulu Hale. Registration is at 8 a.m. The event starts at 9 a.m. To register, visit https://afsp.org/chapter/hawaii#events.
- Sept.13: Suicide Prevention Training SafeTALK organized by the Steven A. Cohen Clinic and Catholic Charities Hawai’i. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 1822 Keeaumoku St., Honolulu. For information, email Annisa Budiman at [email protected].
- Second Tuesday of the month: Adult survivors of suicide loss bereavement support group organized by Nā Pu’uwai. For information, contact Anuhea Beair at [email protected] or 808-560-1060.
- Sept. 11: Mayor Mitch Roth proclamation at 2 p.m. Aupuni Center, Hilo
- Sept. 1 – 29: Poster banners to be displayed at Keaʻau High School and Kinoole St.
- Sept. 12: Sign-waving with Hawai‘i Island Prevent Suicide Task Force, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai’i Community College at 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact Yolisa Duley at [email protected] or [email protected].
- Sept. 30: Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk and Resource Fair, Lifekeeper Memory Quilt Talk Story. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Hale Halawai at 75-5760 Aliʻi Drive Kailua-Kona. For information, contact Yolisa Duley at hipreve[email protected] and Wendy Schwartz at [email protected].
- Sept. 1: Fight for Each Other (F4EO) Project Brown bag lunch with retired US Air Force Col. Rob Swanson – “You Are Not Alone” at Tripler Army Medical Center, Kyser Auditorium.10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
- Sept. 9: From Dark to Light hosted by the 9th Mission Support Command Suicide Prevention and Hawai‘i Dog Foundation, a local dog rescue and suicide prevention resource fair.10 a.m. — 1 p.m. at Field of Hero’s Courtyard, 1557 Suehiro Road, Bldg.1557, Fort Shafter Flats, Honolulu.
- Sept. 12: Suicide Prevention Training Day. 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at U.S. Army Garrison Hawai’i. Army Substance Abuse Program Bldg. 556, 344 Heard Ave., Schofield Barracks.
- Sept. 15: Paint and Zen. 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. at U.S. Vets Tiny Homes, 91-1070 Yorktown St., Kapolei
- Sept. 29: Paint and Zen.11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Military & Family Support Center, 4827 Bougainville Drive, Honolulu.
- Sept. 1 – Sept. 30: Community Art Project “Message of Hope” Display at Navy Exchange Mall lobby rotunda, 4725 Bougainville Drive, Honolulu
- Joint Military Suicide Prevention Task Force meets on the first Thursdays of the month.11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. For more information, email [email protected].