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DOH NEWS RELEASE: Statewide Events Raise Awareness of Suicide Prevention in Hawaii; September is National Suicide Prevention Month

Posted on Sep 2, 2016 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health Injury Prevention Program in partnership with the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force and Hawaii Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is announcing the schedule of community events to be held on each island in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month in September.  Each year, events are held to increase awareness about suicide prevention and the resources available to support families. This year’s national theme is “Strong Alone; Stronger Together.”

Suicide is a significant public health problem in Hawaii. “The impact suicide has on the lives of family members, friends, co-workers and the community is devastating,” said Eric Tash, chair of the Hawaii Chapter, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “The loss of human potential is enormous. Fortunately, there is hope; most suicides are preventable.”

Hawaii data on suicides

  • It is estimated that one person dies by suicide in Hawaii every two days.
  • Suicide was the most common cause of fatal injuries among Hawaii residents over the five-year period 2010-2015, accounting for nearly one-quarter of all fatal injuries.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death in Hawaii for those ages 15-34, surpassing deaths from cancer, heart disease and other types of injuries.

National data on suicides:

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with one suicide occurring on average every 12.95 minutes.
  • An average of one young person dies by suicide every one hour and 48 minutes. The elderly makes up 12.6 percent of the population, but comprise 15.7 percent of all suicides.
  • An estimated 1 million Americans attempt suicide each year.
  • An estimated 4.6 million Americans are survivors of the suicide of a friend, family member, or loved one.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is sponsoring statewide “Out of the Darkness” walks in partnership with the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Forces on most islands to honor loved ones who died by suicide. The public is encouraged to participate at the following locations:

Oahu: Sept. 17 (8 a.m.- 4 p.m.) at Ala Moana Park Magic Island. Contact Pua Kaninau-Santos at (808) 271-8582 or Joyce Parkhurst at (808) 259-1588 or email oahuootd [email protected].

Hawaii Island:
Kona – Sept. 17 (9 a.m.) meet at West Hawaii Today parking lot at 75-5580 Kuakini Highway in Kailua-Kona. Contact Nancy Sallee at (808) 333-8988 or email [email protected]
Hilo – Oct. 8 (9-11:30 a.m.) at Liliuokalani Gardens. Contact Saydee Gabriel-Souza at (808) 339-1794 or [email protected].

Kauai: Oct. 22 (3-6 p.m.) at Kauai Community College. Contact Gina Kaulukukui at [email protected] or Madeleine Hiraga-Nuccio at (808) 274-3890 or [email protected]

For information on additional events during Suicide Prevention Month, please refer to the attached list. For more information or resources on suicide prevention, visit the Department of Health web site at or AFSP Hawaii website at

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Therese Argoud
Emergency Medical Services & Injury Prevention System Branch
Phone: (808) 733-9201 or 733-9320
Email: [email protected]

National Suicide Prevention Month in Hawaii
Statewide Activities for September 2016


  • Sept. 9 (10 a.m.)  Proclamation signing in the Governor’s Ceremonial room, 5th floor of the Hawaii State Capitol.  Contact Therese Argoud at (808) 733-9201 or email [email protected].
  • Sept. 14 (2:30 p.m.)  Proclamation signing in Mayor Caldwell’s office, at Honolulu Hale.  Contact Therese Argoud at (808) 733-9201 or email [email protected].
  • Sept. 10, Mental Health America of Hawaii’s Youth Leadership Council for Suicide Prevention social media campaign for World Suicide Prevention Day.  Pictures will be posted and shared, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number (800-273-TALK) and the Crisis Text line (TEXT START to 741-741) with the hashtag #hopemovement. Contact Mara Pike at (808) 521-1846 or email [email protected].
  • Sept. 20 (6-8 p.m.) Hope, Help, Healing Grief Group (survivors of a suicide loss) – Aloha Circle at Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center. Contact Pua Kaninau Santos at (808) 851-7786.
  • Sept. 23-25, Hawaii Seniors’ Fair – The Good Life Expo at Blasdell Center will have a Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force Resource table. Contact Lani Gutierrez or Pua Kaninau Santos at (808) 271-8582 or Joyce Parkhurst at (808) 259-1588.
  • Sept. 29 (5-8 p.m.) American Foundation for Suicide Prevention LifeKEEPER Memory Quilt Workshop Neighbor Island Tour and Aloha Circle. Contact Pua Kaninau Santos at (808) 851-7786.

Military Events on Oahu:

  • Sept. 7, Joint Service Proclamation Signing. For information, email Brent Oto at [email protected].
  • Sept. 8-9, Pacific Regional Behavioral Health Summit at Tripler Army Medical Center.   For information go to:
  • Sept. 23, Marine Navy Run and Resiliency.  Contact Danielle Sodergren at [email protected].

Hawaii Island:

  • Sept. 9 (5-7 p.m.) Suicide Survivor Vigil at Kamakahonu Beach at King Kamehameha Beach Hotel.  Contact Nancy Sallee at (808) 333-8988 or email [email protected].


  • Sept. 14 (5 p.m.) Survivors of Suicide Loss Memorial at Hospice of Hilo. For information email [email protected].
  • East Hawaii Suicide Prevention Task Force sign waving. Contact Yolisa Duley at (808) 932-7462 for schedule and details.


  • Sept. 16, Sign Waving at four locations. Contact Madeleine Hiraga-Nuccio at (808) 274-3890 or email [email protected].


  • Sept. 10 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Prevent Veterans Ride Against Suicide and community activities for mental and physical wellness at the University of Hawaii, Maui College Campus. Email Mona Cherry at [email protected] or Aris Banaag at [email protected].