State Promotes Suicide Prevention in September
September is National Suicide Prevention Month and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch are hosting a series of events statewide to raise awareness.
According to the DOH, suicide is the leading cause of fatal injuries for people ages 15 to 44 and is the ninth leading cause of all deaths in the state. From 2012 to 2016, there were 887 deaths from suicides in Hawai‘i. On average, one person dies by suicide every two days in our state.
“During national suicide prevention month in September, events will be held statewide to raise public awareness about the topic of suicide, the impact of suicides in Hawai‘i and to connect survivors with services,” said Nancy Deeley, DOH suicide prevention coordinator. “These annual community events strengthen our efforts to identify effective strategies to reduce the risk factors for suicide.”
Each year, volunteers organize Out of Darkness walks, which increase awareness of suicide prevention resources and support for at-risk individuals, loved ones of suicide survivors and the public. Mental health experts encourage individuals who have suffered losses or experienced extremely stressful events to talk with someone about their thoughts and feelings.
If you are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, or know someone who is, call the Crisis Line of Hawai‘i at (808) 832-3100 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.
For information on National Suicide Prevention Month Activities on Hawai‘i Island, contact the following:
East Hawai‘i: Yolisa Duley, chair, East Hawai‘i Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i Task Force at [email protected] or (808) 932-7462.
West Hawai‘i: Nancy Sallee, chair, West Hawai‘i Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i Task Force at [email protected] or (808) 333-8988.