HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Health and the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force are partnering up to raise awareness of mental health resources and events that are available and open to the public during the month of September, National Suicide Prevention Month.
“National Suicide Prevention Month is an opportunity for the community to come together to raise awareness of this issue,” said Dr. Alvin Bronstein, Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention Systems Branch Chief, in a release. “Suicide prevention requires outreach and stakeholder collaboration to ensure resources and support are available to those most in need.”
Suicide continues to be one of the leading causes of preventable death for Hawaii residents, states a DOH news release. From 2017 to 2021, 979 Hawaii residents died due to suicide.
“Suicide is a multifaceted issue that impacts all of our communities across the state,” said Gina Kaulukukui, co-chair for the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force. “Our comprehensive approach to suicide prevention enhances hope, help and healing to protect our ohana.”
Available resources include Hawaii CARES, providing 24/7 free and confidential support to people in mental-health or substance use situations. The organization’s clinical and crisis call center staff are locally trained and qualified to provide counseling, screening for urgent or emergent mental health or substance use needs, and referrals to behavioral health resources. Call 988, 808-832-3100 or toll-free at 1-800-753-6879.
The Hawaii Poison Control Center also provides 24/7 free and confidential support by trained nurses, pharmacists and toxicologists, and help with poisoning emergencies, 1-800-222-1222.
Information on suicide prevention is available at the Suicide Prevention Hawaii website.
Learn more about taking action against suicide at the Vibrant Emotional Health website and its #BeThe1To campaign, as well as at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website.
Events are also being conducted statewide and on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii Island.
- Sept. 17, Oct. 15 and 22: Embracing Hope Speaker Series offers two talk story sessions via Zoom and a workshop
- Every Monday, Sept. 19-Nov. 7: Well-being & Resilience for Health Professionals virtual sessions
- Sept. 10: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out-of-the-Darkness Walk, 8:30 a.m., Skygate Park
- Sept. 17: 2022 Suicide Prevention Month Community Resource Fair, 9 a.m.-noon, rooftop at Cycle City, 600 Puuloa Rd., 2nd floor, Honolulu (specifically for the military). For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sept. 27: Suicide Prevention Foundations Course (suicide prevention training) sponsored by Mental Health America of Hawaii and the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Child & Family Services in Mililani, 11 a.m.-noon
- Visit the Prevent Suicide Kauai website for a list of activities and trainings in September
- Sept. 8: 3rd Annual Maui Suicide Prevention Mini Conference, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (event is sold out, but there is a wait list)
- Sept. 13: Sign waving at Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center, 4:30-5:15 p.m.
- Sept. 15: Youth Mental Health First Aid Training; registration closes 3 p.m. Sept. 6
- Sept. 23: Suicide Prevention Foundations Course, noon-1 p.m. For more information, contact Danielle Bergan (email@example.com) or Kristin Mills (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Sept. 10: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out-of-the-Darkness Walk in Hilo
- Sept. 10: Resource and Awareness Fair, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi St., Hilo
Sarah Yamanaka covers events, environmental and community news for Spectrum News Hawaii.