Maui Economic Opportunity’s Youth Services introduced its Suicide Prevention Basics Training to 50 7th-graders at Moloka‘i Middle School on April 11 and 12 in a program funded through a Maui County grant.
Youth Services Director Dane Ka‘ae flew to Moloka‘i to teach the two-session course to students in Kalei Adolpho’s PE/Health class. He will be returning to Moloka‘i over the next two weeks, bringing the course to 8th and 10th graders at Moloka‘i Middle and High schools.
The course, which has been a staple of MEO youth programs on Maui, is being offered by Youth Services to Moloka‘i youth for the first time. The curriculum places an emphasis on prevention and self-care, as well as recognizing the warning signs of suicide in others and what actions to take.
MEO also will be organizing a community meeting at a later date to discuss suicide and its stigma and how the residents can act as “gatekeepers” to identify those at risk and offer help and support.
Moloka‘i has been identified as a “priority community” for youth suicide prevention by researchers, said Ka‘ae.
“Our program offers a jump start to youth suicide prevention efforts on Moloka‘i,” Ka‘ae said. “We are excited to bring our evidence-based suicide prevention program to the island and to prevent the tragedy of the loss of a young life and all that potential.”
The Moloka‘i program is funded by a $15,000 grant from the county Department of Housing and Human Concerns with additional support from MEO.
The suicide prevention program is part of MEO’s commitment to bring its Youth Services programs to Moloka‘i. Another program, Kaohi, which is funded by the Nuestro Futuro Foundation, will offer Youth Services’ substance abuse, alcohol and tobacco prevention programs to Moloka‘i youth.
For more information about the suicide prevention and Kaohi programs, contact Mela Candelario on Moloka‘i at (808) 553-5472
Seventh-graders in Kalei Adolpho’s Moloka‘i Middle School class play “One, Two, Three, Look,” a suicide awareness exercise. Youth at risk for suicide don’t want to be noticed, and the game puts an emphasis on noticing others.