MOE youth placard activity draws attention to suicide prevention

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September 16, 2022, 9:31 a.m. HST

  • Families affected by suicide participated in MOE’s Youth Services Suicide Awareness Event. PC: MOE

  • Baldwin High 9th grader Gianna Armbul-Okuda and Youth Services staff member Jacob Hara join the suicide awareness placard. PC: MOE

  • MOE Youth Services hosted a suicide awareness event on Tuesday, September 13 to mark Suicide Prevention Month in September. PC: MEO.

  • Maui Waena Intermediate 6th grader Layla Correa (from right), Iao Intermediate 7th grader Arrianna Shirota, and Kalama Intermediate 8th grader Elena Manlapao join the Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services panel waving for suicide awareness. The event took place on Tuesday, September 13 on Kaahumanu Avenue in front of the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. PC: MOE

“You are loved, we miss you, you are remembered.” That’s the message shared on a banner held along Kaʻahumanu Avenue on Tuesday, as part of National Suicide Prevention Month. The banner, which also showed the faces of 11 people, was held by family members who have lost loved ones to suicide.

Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services continued a decade-long tradition of raising awareness about suicide in the community at the event. This event drew 30 youth, families affected by suicide and members of the Prevent Suicide Hawai’i Task Force to Maui.

The signs carried messages such as “Hey you, there’s always someone you can talk to. . .”; “Suicide Prevention, Call 988”; and “You Matter”. The signs also featured images with memorabilia, such as “Me and Dad: I miss and love you.”

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Youth Services works with more than 800 middle and high school youth through in-school, after-school, and vacation programs in the fall, winter, spring, and summer. Suicide awareness and prevention, as well as community engagement, are key elements of youth services programs in Maui and Moloka’i.

Youth Services programs are designed to provide alternative drug-free activities to increase leadership skills and protective factors against harmful and destructive behaviors. Youth participate in activities related to Hawaiian cultures and spanning environmental awareness, volunteerism, civic engagement and advocacy.

For more information about the program, which is offered free of charge with transportation provided, call 808-243-4315 or email dane.ka'[email protected]

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Resources available to those considering suicide include:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a 24-hour helpline for people in emotional distress or in a suicidal crisis, (800) 273-8255 (TALK).
  • Hawaiʻi Cares, local professionals available 24 hours a day for people in mental health crisis and stress, (800) 753-6879.
  • National Crisis Text Line, a 24-hour texting service for those in crisis, text “ALOHA to 741-741.”
  • The Trevor Project, resource for LGBTQ+ youth, call (866) 488-7386 (4U-TREVOR), text (202) 304-1200, or chat online at TrevorChat.org.
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