Hawai'i to hold program for suicide awareness and prevention Sept. 18

Government to start awareness and prevention program on September 18

Hawai'i to hold program for suicide awareness and prevention Sept. 18
“Our goal is to raise suicide prevention awareness statewide and inform everyone about the support services available.”

Hawai’i is hoping to help out locals who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Hawai’i Chapter’s will hold its “Out of Darkness Experience” virtually on Sept. 18 to provide support for at-risk individuals, loved ones of suicide survivors and the public. 

“Our goal is to raise suicide prevention awareness statewide and inform everyone about the support services available,” said Renee Yu, Hawai'i department of health suicide prevention coordinator. “These services include suicide prevention training for healthcare professionals, survivor outreach, and family member support.”

Other events will be held statewide throughout the month to call attention to the issue, according to the government. More details are available here.

Recently, the Mental Health Commission of Canada has expanded its made-in-Canada, community-based suicide prevention program to 11 communities across the country.

Suicide is a major problem in Hawai’i, with one person taking their own life 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, said the government.

“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.”

There are several resources available to locals to prevent suicide, according to the government. These include:

  • The Hawai‘i CARES helpline 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.
  • The Vibrant Emotional Health website offers information about the #BeThe1To campaign at https://www.bethe1to.com.
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention National Suicide Prevention Week website at https://afsp.org/national-suicide-prevention-week also provides valuable information.

Here’s how to prevent suicide among workers in the construction industry, according to a recent report.