Suicide Awareness Month events posted

| September 9, 2016 | 0 Comments


Maya Leonetti
Army Substance Abuse Program

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — September kicks off a yearlong Suicide Awareness initiative between the DoD and VA with the theme “Being There.”

The importance of Suicide Awareness Month and “Being There” for our fellow service members is reinforced by several joint efforts.

On Wednesday, the Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines and Army signed a joint services proclamation.

There is a ceremony, today, for Gov. David Ige to sign a state proclamation, and a third proclamation signing ceremony will be held Sept. 14 during Suicide Prevention Week for signing by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

The highlight of the month’s events is a series of talks from those affected by military-related suicide: survivors, family members, friends and coworkers. With the idea that all service members are one family, and that a family works, fights and survives together, the series of talks called “Fight For Each Other” will be presented at military theaters. The speakers will share their personal experiences with suicide at five different events on installations across Oahu.

Retired Air Force Col. Robert Swanson, a suicide survivor, will be speaking at these events.

“Other training has role playing, PowerPoints and videos. They miss the point; they don’t have real people telling real stories,” Swanson said. “These unscripted events will illustrate that suicide affects everyone, regardless of rank, service or gender.”

Another exciting event in September that’s helping to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention is the “Out of the Darkness Walk” by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Since 2002, AFSP has raised more than $20 million for behavioral health research.

The Oahu event at Ala Moana Beach Park–Magic Island has so far reached 25 percent of its fundraising goal. This community-building walk brings together those affected by suicide, anyone interested in helping fund the research, and even those who just want some exercise.

It starts on Sept. 17, with check-in/registration at 8 a.m. and opening ceremonies at 9 a.m.


Being There

If you would like to attend one of the F4EO talks, call Schofield Barracks Suicide Prevention Program at 655-9105 to reserve your seat. All times are 8:30-1030 a.m.

  • Sept. 15: Richardson Theatre, Fort Shafter.
  • Sept. 16: Sgt. Smith Theater, Schofield Barracks.
  • Sept. 23: Base Theater, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
  • Sept. 30: Club 14, U.S. Coast Guard Base Honolulu.

Who to call

Are you in crisis? Professionals are available 24 hours a day at the Veteran’s Crisis line at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Professional help can also be found at and 800-342-9647.

Text a counselor at 83825 if you can’t talk.

You can talk to local counselors at 832-3100.

Do you want to register for or donate to the “Out of the Darkness” walk? Go to

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