HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Suicide has surpassed traffic fatalities as the number one cause of death in Hawaii and Hawaii County is seeing the most instances in the state.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that the most recent data available through the Department of health shows between 2010 and 2014 Hawaii County had 952 nonfatal suicide attempts and 180 deaths due to suicide. About 96 people per 100,000 on the island attempt and die from suicide, well above the next highest rate of 76.6 people per 100,000 on Kauai. Maui's rate was 76, and Honolulu's was 53.1. The state average is 62.6 suicide deaths per 100,000 people.
Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth called the suicide rate an "epidemic."
East Hawaii Department of Education behavioral health specialist JoAnne Balberde-Kamali'i says community members need to provide other avenues for students to get help.