3 Big Island Events Scheduled for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
The Hawai‘i Department of Health Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch, in partnership with the Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i Task Force, is hosting a series of community events across the state for National Suicide Prevention Month in September.
Events aim to raise public awareness about the topic of suicide and the impact of suicides in Hawai‘i as well as to connect survivors with postvention services.
Suicide is the leading cause of fatal injuries in Hawai‘i for people ages 15 to 44 and is the ninth leading cause of all deaths in the state. From 2013 to 2017, 926 Hawai‘i residents died from suicide. On average, one person dies by suicide every two days in the state.
“Our goal is to educate the public about the warning signs of suicide and encourage individuals to address these warning signs with family members, friends and colleagues,” said Nancy Deeley, DOH EMSIPSB’s suicide prevention coordinator. “These annual events help to strengthen our efforts by allowing us to build stronger community support systems for those who most need them and to identify effective strategies to reduce the risk factors for suicide.”
For anyone experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, or anyone who knows someone who is, call the Crisis Line of Hawai‘i at 832-3100 (Oahu), 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.
2018 Hawai‘i Island Events
- Sept. 11: All-day sign waving at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, corner of Kapiolani Street and Kawili Street. Contact Yolisa Duley at [email protected].
- Sept. 15: Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i meet-and-greet for the community. Contact Yolisa Duley at [email protected].
- Oct. 6, 9 a.m.): Out of the Darkness Big Island Walk at Waimea Elementary School Field. Check-in at 8 a.m. Contact Saydee Gabriel-Souza at [email protected] or (808) 339-1794.
Out of the Darkness Walk is the largest event held during National Suicide Prevention Month in Hawai‘i. It is organized by volunteers to build awareness of suicide prevention resources and support at-risk individuals, loved ones of suicide survivors, and the public. More than 1,000 participants, including representatives from all branches of the military and students from local schools, are expected to attend this year’s event on Sept. 15 at Magic Island in Ala Moana Beach Park. Event and participation details are available at www.afsp.org/oahu.