OHA offering suicide prevention training

LIHUE — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is partnering with community-based organizations to host a series of free suicide prevention trainings called “safeTALK,” beginning today.

The trainings are in response to Kauai community’s request for help to address an increase in suicides on the island.

“Suicide is a such a critical issue in our community that we cannot ignore,” said Kaliko Santos, OHA community outreach coordinator. “The safeTALK trainings are intended to not just elevate awareness about the issue but also to provide our community with the necessary tools to combat the problem.”

SafeTALK is an acronym for: Suicide Awareness For Everyone (SAFE), using the four steps: Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep safe (TALK). SafeTALK is a national prevention program intended to help communities recognize persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them with resources that can help them choose life.

OHA is hosting the trainings through a partnership with Lili‘uokalani Trust – Kipuka Kauai, Prevent Suicide Kauai, and the Kauai Community Resiliency Project Committee, a collaborative effort between Hawaii Community Foundation and the Kauai Planning and Action Alliance.

The safeTALK trainings are part of OHA’s I Mana Ka Lahui series, which are smaller community workshops tailored to meet the unique needs of Native Hawaiians in a specific area.

These workshops may focus on increasing participation in Hawaiian culture, increasing educational opportunities about Hawaiian history, providing support for Native Hawaiian civic engagement or addressing the results of OHA’s Strategic Plan.

“OHA has been collecting data to better understand the mental health needs of our people and advocating for traditional healing techniques as effective measures to address the growing mental health issues in our communities,” said Kamana‘opono Crabbe, OHA chief executive officer.

“The safeTALK series are proven to help empower communities to malama their most vulnerable members, and OHA thanks our community partners for helping to bring this program to Kauai,” Crabbe said.

Suicide prevention training set

SafeTALK suicide prevention trainings are scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. today, April 18; Thursday, May 16; and Thursday, June 20, at Lili‘uokalani Trust – Kipuka Kauai, 4530 Kali Road, Lihue.

Info: D. Kaliko Santos, 241-3390 or dkalikos@oha.org

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