Services, community band together for awareness

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, service members, Department of Defense personnel and their families form a human chain in the shape of a yellow suicide awareness ribbon in support of National Suicide Awareness Month.

Story and photos by MC1 Corwin Colbert
Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

Navy Region Hawaii hosted a Joint Services Suicide Prevention Proclamation signing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Sept. 5 in support of National Suicide Awareness Month.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, service members from every branch of service, Department of Defense (DoD) personnel as well as military and their families attended the event, which took place at Freedom Tower.

Ige and military leaders came together as a community to pledge to help prevent suicide-related deaths.

“Sometimes this (suicide) is an unseen, un-spoken affliction in our community,” Ige said. “As a community, we build resiliency by taking care of each other. I encourage everyone to be a light for someone suffering.

Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, signs the Joint Services Suicide Prevention Proclamation.

We do know when we stay connected to our family, friends and neighbors and our community, we can make a better effort to support them, and help them be stronger people and be a strong part of our community.

As governor of the state of Hawaii, I am proud to sign this proclamation, to invest into our community and make it stronger.”

Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, said having strong relationships provides critical support when anyone in their family or community is experiencing a painful life challenge or feels alone or feels like they’ve lost their purpose.

“Suicide affects all of us, individually and as a family. Whether that family be your personal family, your military family or both — and, as the governor mentioned, it certainly affects us all as a community,” Fort said. “Events like today are designed to help us to remember the importance of community. Understanding the risks and building a resilience amongst all of our service members and families.”

Following official remarks, Ige, Fort and other Hawaii military leaders signed the proclamation.

The event also included more than 200 people forming a human chain in the shape of a yellow suicide awareness ribbon. The attempt is believed to be the first on a military installation on Oahu.

Organizers from the Military and Family Support Center also held a mini-suicide prevention fair that included information and resource booths.

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Category: FeaturedNews