Saturday, July 04, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Legislature Votes to Fund Suicide Prevention
By News Release @ 10:53 PM :: 2438 Views :: Education K-12, Health Care


Task force statistics reveal youth, especially on neighbor islands, most at risk

From Hawaii House Democratic Caucus, April 22, 2019

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The Legislature has passed two important measures to help prevent suicide and to bring awareness to a disturbing increase in youth suicides in Hawaiʻi, especially on the neighbor islands.

HB655 HD1 SD1 designates September as "Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month" to promote public awareness regarding suicide prevention and education, resources, and support available to individuals, families, and communities.

HB330 HD1 SD1 CD1 appropriates $150,000 to the Department of Health to support youth suicide early intervention, prevention, and education initiatives in all counties focusing on youth between the ages of 10 through 24.

"It is critical that we bring awareness to suicide as a public health issue, and work to educate and support individuals, families, and communities in the state," said Representative Nadine K. Nakamura, vice chair of the Human Services & Homelessness Committee and introducer of HB330.

"Suicide was the leading cause of injury-related deaths for Hawaiʻi youth from 2013 to 2017. Suicide rates are higher among young people, especially from the neighbor islands and rural communities, and alarmingly high among Hawaiʻi's LGBTQ youth," said Rep. Nakamura (Hanalei, Princeville, Kīlauea, Anahola, Kapaʻa, Wailua).

The Prevent Suicide Hawaiʻi Taskforce's 2018 report to the Legislature found that the rate of suicide deaths in Hawaiʻi has been increasing, especially during the past 10 years. The Taskforce found that between 2012-2016, suicide was the number one cause of fatal injuries of people ages 15-44 in Hawaiʻi, and the number one cause of fatal injuries among all Hawaiʻi residents.

On Oʻahu, 66 youth for every 100,000 people die as a result of suicide; on Maui it is 86 per 100,000; on Kauaʻi it is 92, and on Hawaiʻi Island it is 117.

Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker (South and West Maui), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, said it is very important to give neighbor island communities the help they desperately need to prevent youth suicides.

"It can be difficult to seek help, and even more so if you live in a community that does not have adequate services to support mental health issues," said Senator Baker. "We must de-stigmatize conversations around mental health, and provide residents in all communities, and especially on neighbor islands and in rural areas, the health support services they need."

Established in 2016 by HCR 66, the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force – comprised of government agencies and private community groups – provides leadership, develops strategies, coordinates activities, and monitors progress of suicide prevention efforts in Hawaiʻi.

In 2017, the Task Force – in collaboration with the Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch – created a strategic plan to reduce suicide 25% by 2025. Among the key recommendations of the Task Force is to develop and implement a public awareness campaign. Designating September as “Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month” will play a key part in advancing this recommendation and raising greater awareness overall.

Task force member Pua Kaninau-Santos, who lost her son Kaniela to suicide in April 2003, said no one can imagine the pain of losing a family member to suicide, but she has learned that there is no one solution to solving the problem.

"We know so well that suicide is preventable and a lot of hard work by everyone here has brought us to this moment," said Kaninau-Santos. "I want to thank the Legislature for their support. Together we are going to try to save those lives crying out for help."

House Majority Leader Representative Della Au Belatti said the strength of the Task Force lies in its diversity bringing together the military, Native Hawaiians, educators, neighbor island residents, and youth.

"To prevent suicide, we need to bring awareness to the problem and must allocate adequate resources to support education and early intervention," said Rep. Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakōlea, McCully, Pāwa‘a, Mānoa). "We know access to health care resources, including mental health services, can be significantly more challenging for residents on the neighbor islands than on Oʻahu. The Legislature is committed to providing funding to close this gap."

Both bills now advance to Governor Ige for approval or veto.

Contacts for anyone who may need help or support:

Crisis Line of Hawaii

  • Oahu: 832-3100
  • Neighbor Islands: 1-800-753-6879

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Crisis Text Line

  • Text CONNECT to 741741



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii