HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO SUICIDE PREVENTION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that suicide accounts for twenty-five per cent of all fatal injuries in the State. The legislature also finds that in 2019, suicide was the leading cause of death for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders between the ages of fifteen to twenty-four. That same year, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders were three times less likely to receive mental health services or prescription medications for mental health treatment, compared to Non‑Hispanic whites.
Suicide attempts, like suicide deaths, have harmful, lasting, and profound impacts on families and communities. For every person who dies by suicide, more than thirty others will attempt to take their own lives. Thus, it is important to continue the coordinated approach to preventing suicide and suicide attempts spearheaded by the prevent suicide Hawaii task force. Amending the duties of the task force to focus on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander suicide prevention efforts is an important step toward addressing mental health needs amongst vulnerable Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities that already experience higher rates of poverty and incarceration in relation to other groups in the State.
The purpose of this Act is to codify the prevent suicide Hawaii task force.
SECTION 2. Chapter 321, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§321- Prevent suicide Hawaii task force; established. (a) There is established the prevent suicide Hawaii task force to be placed within the department of health for administrative purposes. The prevent suicide Hawaii task force shall examine, evaluate, and determine methods to improve education, awareness, support services, and outreach to best prevent suicides in Hawaii, particularly among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The task force shall also monitor and implement the strategic plan formulated pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution No. 66, Senate Draft 1 (2016).
(b) The prevent suicide Hawaii task force shall consist of at least the following members:
(1) The current chair of the prevent suicide Hawaii task force, who shall continue to serve as chair of the task force until a successor is elected;
(2) The suicide prevention coordinator for the department of health;
(3) One at-large member from each county, to be appointed by the governor;
(4) Two members from a youth leadership suicide prevention organization, to be appointed by the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives respectively;
(5) One member from the department of health's injury prevention and control section, to be appointed by the director of health;
(6) One member to be appointed by the dean of the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns school of medicine, from its department of psychiatry;
(7) One member to be appointed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services;
(8) One member from Papa Ola Lokahi;
(9) One member from the department of education, to be appointed by the superintendent of education;
(10) One member from the department of public safety, or its successor agency, to be appointed by the director of public safety or the director of the successor agency;
(11) One member from the department of human services, to be appointed by the director of human services;
(12) One member from the judiciary, to be appointed by the chief justice;
(13) One member to be appointed by the president of the senate; and
(14) One member to be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;
(c) In addition to the members listed in subsection (b), the chair of the suicide prevention Hawaii task force shall invite the following individuals to participate:
(1) The suicide prevention program manager for the United States Army Reserves in Hawaii;
(2) Two members from a suicide prevention organization;
(3) One member from a mental health advocacy organization; and
(4) One member from each branch of the military.
(d) Notwithstanding section 26-34, any vacancies in the task force shall be filled in the manner provided for the original appointments, or be filled by the chair of the task force if there is no appointment mechanism for the vacancy or if the vacancy remains for more than six months; provided that all appointees shall have expertise or experience in fields or disciplines related to suicide prevention and education or awareness of suicide prevention.
(e) The task force shall meet not less than once per quarter; provided that the task force may hold additional public meetings as it deems necessary. The chair, at the request of the majority of members, may request special meetings. A majority of the task force shall constitute a quorum to do business.
(f) Members of the suicide prevention task force shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses necessary for the performance of their duties, including travel expenses.
(g) Commencing with the regular session of , the prevent suicide Hawaii task force shall submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session. The annual report shall include updates on the implementation of the strategic plan, results obtained, and any other pertinent findings and recommendations of the task force, including proposed legislation."
SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on June 30, 3000.
Native Hawaiians; Pacific Islanders; Suicide Prevention; Task Force
Makes permanent the prevent suicide Hawaii task force within the Department of Health. Requires the task force to focus on reducing the suicide rate among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the State. Requires reports to the legislature. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.