The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch (EMSIPSB) and the Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i Task Force are taking action to recognize National Suicide Prevention Month. Events will be held statewide throughout September to call attention to this issue.
In Hawai‘i, one person dies from suicide every two days. Suicide is the leading cause of fatal injuries for those ages 15 to 64 and is the tenth leading cause of all deaths in the state. From 2016 to 2020, 957 Hawaii residents died from suicide.
“Suicide is a serious, complex and preventable public health issue,” said Alvin C. Bronstein MD, Chief of the Emergency Medical Services & Injury Prevention Branch. “Suicide prevention requires a strategic and comprehensive approach, including outreach and stakeholder collaboration, to ensure resources are available to those most in need. This is especially important during the pandemic.”
This year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Hawai’i Chapter’s “Out of Darkness Experience” will be held virtually statewide on Saturday, September 18, beginning at 9:00 AM. This annual event is designed to increase awareness of suicide prevention resources and provide support for at-risk individuals, loved ones of suicide survivors and the public. To register for the “Out of Darkness Experience,” visit Hawai‘i Virtual Walk.
“Our goal is to raise suicide prevention awareness statewide and inform everyone about the support services available,” said Renee Yu, Department of Health suicide prevention coordinator. “These services include suicide prevention training for healthcare professionals, survivor outreach, and family member support.”
Depression, anxiety and isolation are risk factors and warning signs of suicide. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these feelings on a regular basis, or if the frequency or severity of the feelings is increasing, reach out for help right away by talking to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional.
Mental health professionals are trained to help people feel better before a mental health condition progresses into suicidal thoughts. Minors 14years of age or older can consent to outpatient mental health without the permission, knowledge or participation of their parents or legal guardians, upon consultation and agreement of their licensed therapist.
To learn more about suicide prevention in Hawai‘i, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/injuryprevention/home/suicide-prevention/information/.
- The Hawai‘i CARES help line is a free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week coordination center for support with substance use, mental health, and crisis intervention. 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, and services and crisis interventions. Any Hawai‘i resident may call Hawai‘i CARES at 1 (800) 753-6879. For more information about Hawai‘i CARES, visit https://hicares.hawaii.gov/.
- The Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 crisis counseling. Text ALOHA to 741741, and you will be connected with a live, trained Crisis Counselor who will respond to you on a secure online platform. For more information, visit https://www.crisistextline.org.
- The Hawai‘i Poison Center provides help for poisoning emergencies, call 1 (800) 222-1222. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For information, visit https://hipoisoncenter.org.
- For more information about taking action against suicide, visit
2021 Suicide Prevention Month Activities
- Sept. 1: Governor’s proclamation (https://drive.google.com/file/d/15VHA8UHSDeoECCnB2AaqmZtjBiJ-1SOj/view)
- Sept. 10: World Suicide Prevention Day. Create hope through action, join with others by lighting a candle at 8 pm (https://www.iasp.info/wspd2021)
- Sept. 18: 9 am Out of the Darkness Experience, presented by volunteers of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Hawaii. To register: Out of the Darkness Hawai‘i Virtual Walk.
- Nov. 20: International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (AFSP). To register: International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.
- Go to: PreventSuicideKauai.org for details & updates on all Kaua’i September Activities
- To donate, volunteer, or if you have any questions about Kaua‘i activities, Contact: Patricia Wistinghausen / email@example.com / # 808-346-7492
- Sept. 1-30: Post It Forward Kaua’i – You Got This Kaua’i Ohana September Challenge on Instagram instagram.com/yougotthiskauai
- Sept. 16: Suicide Prevention 101 Virtual Training / 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. via Zoom
- Sept. 23: Suicide Prevention 101 Virtual Training / 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. via Zoom
- Sept. 27: Prevent Suicide Kaua’i Task Force Meeting / 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. via Zoom
- Sept. 29: Hale ‘Opio Youth Suicide & Bullying Prevention Training / In-Person from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Sept. 29: Kaua’i Mental Health Advocates Community Conversation on Suicide Prevention / 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. via Zoom
· Aug. 30: 2 p.m. County mayor’s proclamation
· Sept. 8: 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Sign waving in front of Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center with Maui County Prevent Suicide Task Force members and keiki from Maui Economic Opportunity
· Sept. 10: Suicide Prevention Foundations (S.P. 101) Training
· Sept. 14: Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA)
- Sept. 30, 2nd Annual Maui Suicide Prevention Mini Conference, “Embrace Cultural and Social Protective Factors in Suicide Prevention.” Contact: Danielle Bergan, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Kristin Mills, email@example.com
· Sept. 6-10: County mayor’s proclamation for National Suicide Prevention Month.
· Sept. 10: Sign-waving at various locations. Contact: Yolisa Duley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Military and Veteran Focus:
· Sept. 14: 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m, AM 830 radio time with Rick Hamada feature VA Pacific islands Health Care System Community Engagement and Partnerships Coordinator Travis Schmidt
· The Joint Military Suicide Prevention Task Force (JMSPTF) meets on the first Thursday of the month from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. For more information contact: Stefany Garcia, Stefany.Garcia@navy.mil, Melody Bell, Melody.Bell@dystech.com