East Hawaii News

National Suicide Prevention Week: Sept. 7-13

September 4, 2015, 1:19 PM HST
* Updated September 4, 1:21 PM
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National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 7 through Sept. 13, and the State of Hawai’i Department of Health has announced collaborative awareness events throughout the state, part of a nation-wide effort to prevent suicide. The events, part of this year’s national theme “Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives,” will create awareness about suicide prevention resources, along with support available for families and communities in the state.

World Suicide Prevention Day falls on Sept. 10, in the middle of prevention week.

“As a society, we need to do more to prevent suicide,” said Larry Walter, Prevent Suicide Hawai’i Task Force Chair. “Increasing public awareness of this health problem, including warning signs and risk factors, is one of the best prevention tools we have.”

In Hawai’i, one person dies from suicide every two days. Suicide is also the most common form of fatal injuries among Hawai’i residents between 2010 and 2014. Over 25 percent of all fatal injuries fell under this category, according to the DOH.

The high suicide rates continue as the leading cause of injury-related deaths for all age groups, except for the very old and the very young. These numbers were higher than car crashes, homicide, unintentional poisoning and drowning. Statistics released by the DOH have suicide as the second leading cause of death in Hawai’i for individuals between the ages of 15 and 34.


A suicide occurrs every 12.8 minutes nationally and is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.


National data shows that approximately 900,000 people attempt suicide every year.

Big Island Suicide Prevention Week events:

East Hawai’i


Sept. 8: National sign waving, Hamakua to Puna.

Sept. 10: Worldwide Suicide Preventon Day, various homes.

Sept. 19: Hilo Pride Parade, Hilo Bayfront at 10 a.m.

Sept. 23: Hospice of Hilo Survivors of Suicide Candlelight Vigil, Hospice of Hilo.

To get involved with any of the East Hawai’i events, call Jo Balberde-Kamalii at 895-8271 or e-mail [email protected]

West Hawai’i

Sept. 11: Suicide Survivor Vigil, Old Airport Beach Pavillion at 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 19: Suicide Awareness & Prevention WALK, WHT parking lot at 8:30 a.m.

To get involved with any of the West Hawai’i events call Nancy Sallee at 324-1815, 333-8988, or e-mail [email protected]

Those interested in learning more about National Suicide Prevention Week should contact Nancy Deeley at the Injury Prevention and Control Section of the Hawai’i State Department of Health at (808) 733-9238 or e-mail [email protected]

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