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September is National Suicide Prevention Month: Hope through Action

Date: September 14th, 2021 in Community Outreach, JABSOM News, Psychiatry, UH Manoa    Print or PDF


September brings cotton candy skies, Kona winds and warm waters. September is also Suicide Prevention Month in Hawai‘i.

In Hawai‘i, one suicide death occurs nearly every other day. Suicide can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. There has been an increasing trend in the number of people treated in Hawaiʻi hospitals and emergency departments for non-fatal suicide attempts over the decade. For every suicide death, there are two hospitalization and 3 emergency room visits. Throughout the pandemic, levels of isolation and loss, distress, grief and anxiety have risen. Hawai‘i has seen increase usage of crisis phone and text lines as well as mental health services. Hawai‘i has identified suicide prevention as a priority and set a bold goal of reducing suicidality 25% by 2025 though hope, help, and healing efforts. Hope includes building our strengths, self-care and resilience; help is having real conversations about mental health and suicide and connecting to supports; healing included the grief process, forgiveness, and passing life forward. Suicide prevention is a priority at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

As the current co-Chair for the State’s Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i Task Force, I wanted to share a number of opportunities happening this month across the State and globe. The theme this year is Hope through Action. Join a walk, attend an educational event, or practice self-care.

Our next event is September 18: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hawai‘i is hosting the Out of Darkness Experience to raise awareness. I created a team Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i TF Inspire Hope. Please register to show your support for the cause. You do NOT need to make a donation.

Below is the list of other upcoming events from Sept. 15, 2021 and on:


  • 11/20: International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Hawai‛i Chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Register online.
  • 9/20 – Out of the Darkness Virtual Walk, Hawai‛i Chapter AFSP from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. HST. Register online.


Kauaʻi events. (Questions? Contact Patricia Wistinghausen at patricia@patriciawistinghausen.com or 808-346-7492)

  • 9/29: Kaua’i Mental Health Advocates Community Conversation on Suicide Prevention from 5:30pm – 7:30pm via Zoom.
  • 9/29: Hale ‘Opio Youth Suicide & Bullying Prevention Training from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. via Zoom and in person in Lihue.
  • 9/27: Prevent Suicide Kaua’i Task Force Meeting from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. via Zoom.
  • 9/16 and 9/23: Suicide Prevention 101 Virtual Training from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. via Zoom
  • 9/17: Kauaʻi ʻOhana Resource Kiosk Outreach at Kukui Grove Center from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • 9/15: Proclamation with Kauaʻi Mayor Derek Kawakami at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom
  • 9/1 to 9/30: Post It Forward Kaua’i – You Got This Kaua’i Ohana September Challenge on Instagram (Grand Prize $250 in gift cards from local businesses)


    Maui events

  • 9/30: 2nd Annual Maui Suicide Prevention Mini Conference, “Embrace Cultural and Social Protective Factors in Suicide
    Prevention” from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Register online or contact Danielle Bergan (danielle.bergan@mentalhealthhawaii.org) and Kristin Mills

self care graphic

By Deborah Goebert, DrPH, professor and associate director of research in psychiatry


    Photo of a sunset courtesy of Deborah Goebert, DrPH


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