Inspiring hope through sources of strength among predominantly Pacific Islander communities


  • Malia Agustin Wai'anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
  • Blane K. Garcia Wai'anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
  • Deborah Goebert Department of Psychiatry, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai'i
  • Jennifer Lyman Department of Psychiatry, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai'i
  • Sunny Mah Department of Psychiatry, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai'i
  • R. Pi'imauna Kackley Department of Psychiatry, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai'i
  • Yoojin Oh Department of Psychiatry, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai'i


suicide prevention, strength, youth, community, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander


in the world for youth, taking a tremendous toll on local communities (Else et al., 2007; Goebert, 2014). Comprehension of community perspectives of suicide and well-being can enhance suicide prevention interventions. This community-initiated project aimed to culturally adapt the components of an evidence-based youth suicide prevention intervention and refine the intervention methodology to align with these adaptations. Formative qualitative work was conducted with community members to obtain information on community strengths and program fit. Narrative analyses were emergent and emphasized components for suicide prevention, incorporating cultural auditing to ensure information reflected group views. Participants highlighted cultural aspects pertaining to the program philosophy, the importance of cultural protocol, local innovation in suicide prevention, and culturally grounded advancements that give back to their community. This insight was applied to two adjacent but distinct communities to integrate suicide prevention in a sustainable way by culturally adapting the program. Effective suicide prevention for rural and Indigenous youth requires a broad-based community commitment, connection, and network.   


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