PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- 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 Governor David Ige, Hawaii-based service members from every branch of service, DoD personnel and military/DoD families attended the event, which took place at the Freedom Tower.
Ige and military leadership came together as a community to pledge to help prevent suicide-related deaths.
“Sometimes this [suicide] is an unseen, unspoken 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. We do know when we stay connect to our family, friends and neighbors and our community, we can make a better effort to support them, and helping them to be a stronger person and stronger 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/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 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 Military and Family Support Center also held a mini-suicide prevention fair that included information and resource booths.