Suicide death numbers lower in January 2019

LIHUE — In 2017, there were 25 reported suicide deaths on Kauai. In 2018, there were 18.

So far this year, there have not been any suicide deaths reported.

Gina Kaulukukui of Life’s Bridges said while keeping track of the numbers helps illustrate what’s happening on Kauai, focusing on them isn’t the best way to reduce suicides.

“Our goal is safe messaging and helping our community to learn the warning signs of someone at risk,” she said. “If every one of your readers learns to recognize someone at risk, we can change our numbers.”

Breaking the stigma around suicide conversation is the goal of several organizations on Kauai.

Life’s Bridges has been gathering volunteers since 2007 for suicide prevention and bereavement services, striving to help the community heal and talk openly about suicide.

Students have access to mental health counseling at Kauai Community College, and KCC hosts a suicide prevention and awareness walk each year.

Another nonprofit recently formed.

Kauai Mental Health Advocates holding talk story sessions to connect community members for healing and resource sharing.

It’s all in an effort to reduce suicide numbers on Kauai, where there were 15 reported suicide deaths in 2015 and 11 in 2016.

There isn’t just one factor that causes someone to end their life, Kaulukukui said. Multiple factors are at play and it’s important to be able to see them all.

“We do know that an undiagnosed mental health issue can be a contributing factor. We also know that if we can break the stigma around mental health and suicide, more people would seek help,” Kaulukukui said. “The most important thing is that help, hope and healing is possible.”

Kauai Mental Health Advocates can connect community members with each other and with resources on the island; Life’s Bridges and the Prevent Suicide Kauai Task Force offer free trainings on suicide prevention; and hot lines are available for those who need to talk.


Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or at

Looking for help

Anyone interested in Kauai Mental Health Advocates’s community conversations can call Franci Davila at 631-1154.

The Prevent Suicide Kauai Task Force and Life’s Bridges can be reached at 651-6637.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

  1. Charlie Chimknee February 13, 2019 7:40 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    It is very important that effort is being made, especially by lay people in different organizations, to PREVENT suicide. Much mahalo to them.

    Just talking about suicide and lifting people up from depression is a great step forward to helping people young and old get over the phases of depression by using and relying on prevention methods.

    Looking into the CAUSES of depression and recognizing those CAUSES as the things to avoid, to remove those CAUSES from ones life or stay away from those CAUSES, are important steps to prevent this serious but preventable suicidal state of mind.

    People need to know and understand that there are too many depressants too readily available in our every day lives and they need to be identified.

    Alcohol, tobacco, both illegal “street” and pharmaceuticual prescription drugs, too many foods, and even unfulfilling habits such as social or electronic addiction (screens) and their content lead to the accumulation of depression and depression events, and the less than healthy mindset that leads to the depression phase of suicide.

    But in addition while we are trying to protect people from one serious illness, depression and suicide, there are many other diseases that equally need attention, and being spoken about, and listing the statistics of those diseases in order to get a grip on their PREVENTIONS, and the removal and avoidance of their CAUSES is an important step in helping many PEOPLE…and the individual.

    We are speaking of the chronic degenerative diseases.

    Heart attack, strokes, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and too many cancers. etc.

    People with these “SILENT” diseases are in our families, are our friends, and in our collective community, with no guidance as to CAUSE and PREVENTION.

    Of course we have, reactive, after you are sick, Disease Care, with for the most part a chemical pill for every ill, but the prescription treatment ignores the Cause and Prevention of our sickness and disease and only for the most part hides the pain or symptoms.

    Kauai being a small community would do well, as in wellness, to have published frequently, perhaps monthly, the amount of people who pass away from each of these and other diseases. Meaning listing the number of people who passed away from each disease.

    Talking about it, and naming the CAUSES and PREVENTION of these diseases, would by education, an education that could be provided by our newspaper, the Garden Island, and even better and more shocking the Honolulu paper by virtue of it population base, benefit the public as to what is shortening our lives and making the Causes and Avoidance and Preventions known.

    Let’s not keep it secret what people under 90 years old are dying from as we all deserve an ACTIVE and HEALTHY LIFE LONGEVITY.

    What if we discovered that 90% of people on Kauai under the age of 90 were passing away from the same 6 or so diseases?

    Wouldn’t it be easier to identify those 6 diseases and spell out their CAUSES, AVOIDANCE, and PREVENTIONS?

    Ultra Modern Science now knows the CAUSES and PREVENTIONS to these Diseases, so why not take advantage of them.

    Kauai already has a sort of Life Longevity Zone, with people living close to and either side of 100. And yes many are from the far
    West Side, but some are Islandwide.

    Disease follows the laws of Cause and Effect, and some in the Field of Health know these well. However the Industry of Disease Care is too over worked with treating sickness to put their effort into staying well, as in Healthy.

    We need to turn over a New Leaf and work on and emphasize WELLNESS.

    What one of the things that Centenarians (100 years old) share is that they grew up before Modern Chemicals were put IN and ON our Air, Water, Land, and Foods.

    This means we should identify what Disease Processes are shortening our people’s lives, and then let’s share the information on their CAUSES and PREVENTION.

    Who better to know the exact diseases (diagnoses) shortening our people’s lives and the lives of those people tomorrow than our very own hospitals and doctors. They have the information and the statistics, it’s time to share that information and not keep that information private.

    After all we do not need the names of the individual but only the statistics on age of death and the disease associated with their passing.

    Isn’t it nice to hear someone 100 years old passed away from old age, instead of a 50 something years old with heart disease, stroke, or cancer? Knowing these statistics is the beginning of stopping early death from disease or mental illness.

    Can we get an Ad Hoc committee to publish this information monthly? It could sure extend lives and reduce suffering; isn’t that a worthy endeavor…?

    Knowing the statistics of disease can lead to uncovering the Cause and provide the Prevention and Avoidance of those Causes.



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