Molokaʻi students being taught suicide prevention with grant funding

Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services Director Dane Ka‘ae teaches Suicide Prevention Basics Training to Moloka‘i Middle School students. Photo Courtesy: MEO

Suicide prevention courses have been a staple of Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) youth programs on Maui. Now, with funding from a $15,000 Maui County grant, students on Molokaʻi are also getting the potential life-saving training.

Youth Services Director Dane Ka‘ae recently flew to Moloka‘i to teach the two-session course to 50 seventh-grade students in Kalei Adolpho’s PE/Health class at Molokaʻi Middle School.

Kaʻae will return to Moloka‘i over the next two weeks to teach the course to eighth and 10th graders at Moloka‘i Middle and High schools.

The curriculum emphasizes prevention and self-care. It also teaches how to recognize the warning signs of suicide in others and what actions to take.

MEO also will be organizing a community meeting to discuss suicide; its stigma; and how 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, Ka‘ae said.

“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 grant is from the county Department of Housing and Human Concerns with additional support from MEO.

Another MEO program, Kaohi, is funded by the Nuestro Futuro Foundation and 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.

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