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Hawaiʻi Journal of Health & Social Welfare

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Hawaiians -- Mental health services, Hawaiians -- Mental health, Hawaiians -- Suicidal behavior, Suicide prevention, Pacific Islanders -- Mental health services, Pacific Islanders -- Mental health


Suicide is a serious public health issue, particularly for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islander youth living in rural communities in Hawai‘i. The Hawai‘i’s Caring Communities Initiative (HCCI) for Youth Suicide Prevention was implemented to address these concerns and used a strength-based, youthleadership approach to suicide prevention. A qualitative study was completed with youth leaders and adult community coordinators to evaluate the impacts of participating in HCCI. Participants included 9 adult community coordinators and 17 youth leaders ages 13-18 years. Coordinator interviews took place at a location of the interviewee’s convenience, and youth leader focus groups were conducted at 1 of 6 rurally-based community organizations. A team of university staff members coded transcripts using a narrative approach and grouped codes into themes. Five themes emerged that fit with an adapted socio-ecological model framework, which included increased knowledge in suicide risk, pride in leadership identity, sense of positive relationships, positive affirmation from community members, and sustainability. Future efforts that focus on youth-related issues are encouraged to integrate a youth leadership model and preventive approach while considering implications such as long-term funding and capitalizing on community strengths and resources.


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Originally appeared in the Hawai'i Journal of Health & Social Welfare, vol 79, no 5, Supplement 1.

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