Molokai residents participate in suicide prevention training

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August 26, 2022

Twenty Moloka‘i residents learned to be suicide prevention gatekeepers in training sessions Tuesday and Wednesday conducted by Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services.

The four sessions held over the two days at MEO’s Kaunakakai office covered recognition of the warning signs of suicide, how to provide support to those contemplating suicide and connecting them to services. The content was patterned after suicide prevention sessions held at Moloka‘i High and Intermediate in April.

The training sessions were a follow up to a town hall on suicide prevention held July 27. Some at the town hall were interested in the program taught in the schools.

MEO Youth Services’ work with suicide prevention on Moloka‘i is funded mainly through a county grant with additional support from private funding.

The next step is the creation of a Prevent Suicide Coalition group on Moloka‘i in September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month.

Resources available for those contemplating suicide include:

    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a 24-hour hotline for individuals in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, (800) 273-8255 (TALK).
    • Hawaii Cares, local professionals available 24 hours a day for those in mental health crisis and stress, (800) 753-6879.
    • National Crisis Text Line, texting service available 24 hours a day 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

For more information about MEO Youth Services on Moloka‘i, call (808) 553-5472.

Mela Candelario, Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services Kāohi coordinator on Moloka‘i, conducts a suicide prevention training for adults at MEO in Kaunakakai on Tuesday.

A total of 20 Moloka‘i residents participated in suicide prevention training sessions held Tuesday and Wednesday. Shown are the participants from the last of the four sessions on Wednesday evening. MEO Youth Services Director Dane Ka‘ae (front left), who flew over from Maui, and Mahie McPherson (right), MEO Moloka‘i Branch Manager, participated in the session.

There was a discussion about why people do not talk about suicide, and shown are some of the reasons mentioned.

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