UH Med Now
September is National Suicide Prevention Month: Hope through Action
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:
Kauaʻi events. (Questions? Contact Patricia Wistinghausen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-346-7492)
By Deborah Goebert, DrPH, professor and associate director of research in psychiatry