In Hawaii, Someone Dies by Suicide Every Other Day – National Survivors of Suicide Day

In observance of the 13th Annual National Survivors of Suicide Day, the Hawai‘i State Department of Health in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will present the “Prevent Suicide: Survivors, Provider and Community Partners In-Action Hawai‘i Conference 2012,” on Wednesday, November 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Honolulu, located in Kapi‘olani Park. Each November, survivors of suicide loss come together at healing conferences in their communities nationwide for support and guidance.

In Hawai`i, this year’s conference is being held to acknowledge the grief that survivors experience and to provide hope and assistance for them in an atmosphere of support and healing. The conference will also address the community need for education and information among service and health care providers, school personnel and professional caregivers. Sessions will be offered on survivor debriefing, healing through the arts, and strategic planning for suicide prevention in Hawai‘i. This year’s conference themes are hope (man‘olana), help (kokua), and healing (ho‘ola).

Conference keynote speakers include Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe, Chief Executive Officer of Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Dr. David Brown, Regional Director, Behavioral Health, Pacific Regional Medical Command, Tripler Army Medical Center; and Dr. Ishmael Stagner, Program Specialist at Alu Like.

In addition to the DOH Injury Prevention and Control Program and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, conference sponsors include Hawai‘i Suicide Prevention, Education, Awareness, and Research (SPEAR); and Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center.

The conference will be enhanced by an Awareness Walk in Kapi‘olani Park at 5 p.m. and an Aloha Reception at 6:30 p.m. at Elks Lodge. Both events will be held on November 14, the same day as the conference. For registration information for the conference, walk and reception, contact Pua Kaninau-Santos at (808) 271-8582 or kkanina@qlcc.org

One million people die by suicide every year in the United States. In Hawai‘i, someone dies by suicide every other day. These individuals leave behind countless family members and friends to make sense of the tragedy. Survivors often experience a wide range of grief reactions, including anger, shock, and symptoms of depression and guilt.

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