Suicide Prevention Month Awareness Events on Maui
The public is invited to two awareness events on Maui in recognition of Suicide Prevention Month in Hawaiʻi. Maui events include a proclamation presentation in the Council Chambers on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019; and an Out of the Darkness Walk at Keōpūolani Park in Kahului on Saturday Sept. 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
State Health officials say one person dies by suicide every two days in Hawai‘i. In Hawai‘i, suicide is the leading cause of fatal injuries for people ages 15 to 64 and is the tenth leading cause of all deaths in the state. From 2014 -2018, 958 Hawai‘i residents died from suicide.
The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch, in partnership with the Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i Task Force organized the series of community events to bring awareness and education to the issue.
The goal of events across the state during the month of September is to raise public awareness about suicide prevention, the impact of suicides in Hawai‘i, and to connect survivors with postvention services.
“Suicide is a serious, complex and preventable public health issue,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “Our response requires a strategic and comprehensive approach through outreach, collaboration with stakeholders, and building and maintaining statewide relationships to ensure resources are available to those who need them most. We hope that through these efforts, we’ll be able to identify effective strategies to reduce the risk for suicide.”
Each year, the Out of the Darkness Walk is one the largest Suicide Prevention Month activities held in the state. Volunteers organize the event to increase awareness of suicide prevention resources and the available support for at-risk individuals, loved ones of suicide survivors, and the public.
On O‘ahu, more than 900 participants, including representatives from all branches of the military and students from local schools, will take part in this year’s event on Sept. 14 at Ala Moana Beach Park, Magic Island.
For anyone experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, or anyone who knows someone who is, call the Crisis Line of Hawai‘i at (808) 832-3100 (O‘ahu), 1 (800) 753-6879 (neighbor islands), the National Suicide Hotline at 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255), and message the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Resources are available 24 hours every day. More information about suicide prevention may be found online.
Additional Suicide Prevention Month activities and contact information is provided below:
- Sept. 7 (9 a.m.): Out of the Darkness Walk at Waimea Athletic Field Complex. Contact: Sheila Louis-Garcia, (808) 652-2149 or [email protected].
- Sept. 10 (9 a.m.): Joint Services Suicide Prevention Proclamation Signing and Human Awareness Ribbon at Navy Exchange parking lot, Bougainville Dr. Contact: Melanie Beachy, Military and Family Support Center, (808) 474-0089 (office), 808-723-4292 (cell), or [email protected].
- Sept. 10 (3:30 p.m.): Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell proclamation signing in the Mayor’s Conference Room at Honolulu Hale. Contact: Nancy Deeley, (808) 733-9238 or [email protected].
- Sept. 13 (10:30 a.m.): Gov. David Ige proclamation signing at the Hawai‘i State Capitol. Contact: Nancy Deeley, (808) 733-9238 or [email protected].
- Sept. 14 (8 a.m.–1 p.m.): Out of the Darkness Walk at Magic Island. Contact: Pua Kaninau-Santos, (808) 271-8582 or[email protected].
- Sept. 20 (9 a.m.): Maui County Council proclamation presentation at Council Chambers. Contact: Danielle Bergan,[email protected]
- Sept. 28 (9 a.m.–1 p.m.): Out of the Darkness Walk at Keopuolani Park, Kahului. Contact: Danielle Bergan, [email protected]
- Sept. 10 (12 p.m.): Community sign making at the UH Hilo campus library lanai with sign-waving to follow (4:30 – 5:30 p.m.). Contact: Yolisa Duley, [email protected]
- Sept. 25 (10 a.m.–2:45 p.m.): “Recognize/Connect Suicide Prevention Training” at Hilo Medical Center ground conference room. Contact: Gary Gardner, [email protected]