‘Mental health is as real as physical health’

More than 200 people joined the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Walk Maui at Keopuolani Park on Sept. 29. The event raised $18,000 for the foundation. The walk was led by Tiare and Roger Agdeppa. She is a registered nurse case manager for behavioral health and he is a fire rescue captain. “This issue is dear to our hearts because of our professions,” said Tiare Agdeppa. “We were both born and raised on Maui and want to make a positive difference in our community by creating awareness and sending the message that mental health is as real as physical health. We want people to know that reaching out for help is the strong thing to do and let everyone who struggles know they’re not alone.” Local sponsors included PWC Hawaii Corp. and HFN Hawaii Petroleum. The Maui Fire Department was a major supporter and many firefighters and fire recruits donated their time to help with first aid and setup for the walk, she said.