Hawaii – University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine Manoa

Hawaii - University of Hawaii
Garrett Lee Smith State

Hawaii’s Caring Communities Initiative

Under the Hawaii’s Caring Communities Initiative, Hawaii will implement two strategic projects entitled “Mobilizing Communities At Risk” and “Enhancing the Statewide Trauma Network”, using the rubric of the evidence-based Communities that Care. With the goal of preventing youth suicide and increasing early intervention, these projects will positively impact at-risk communities, as well as the statewide suicide crisis infrastructure in Hawaii. Research indicates that at-risk communities in Hawaii include Native Hawaiian communities and rural communities. This Initiative will have a ripple effect on communities throughout Hawaii as public awareness on suicide prevention will be enhanced, more at-risk youth will be identified and referred, and more families will be empowered to prevent future attempts. This Initiative aligns with the State strategic goals for suicide prevention and builds upon previous efforts of the Hawaii Gatekeeper Training Initiative.

  • Communities that Care is a universal, community-wide, evidence-based prevention system. It employs a public health model of preventing poor outcomes by helping communities set the foundation for introducing interventions, and by reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors. It has been proven to make a difference in promoting positive youth development by effectively addressing issues that youth in a specific community face, thereby increasing the effectiveness of selected interventions.
  • Mobilizing Communities At Risk – A local pilot project using a youth and community mobilization model to engage youth in suicide prevention advocacy demonstrated promising results. Hawaii will expand on this strategy through youth-serving organizations by linking the Connect Suicide Prevention Program endorsed by the National Registry of Best Practices, with community mobilization. This project will increase public awareness and community-based support for youth suicide prevention, and expand gatekeeper training in at-risk communities. Thirty youth leaders per year will receive advocacy training and work with their peers and community partners to conduct public awareness campaigns and promote the suicide hotline, reaching 18,000 community members each year, including youth and their families.
  • Enhancing the Statewide Trauma Network – Community emergency departments in the Statewide Trauma System provide a new avenue for training gatekeepers who have far too frequent contact with youth who are suicidal or have made suicide attempts. This project focuses on improving access to care and reducing mental health disparities in rural communities by training every emergency department manager in Connect who would then train 500 other healthcare professionals in their respective facilities to provide intervention for 100 youth per year as well as consult with parents and family members to better support youth who are at risk for suicide and to prevent future attempts.