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Vigil held for suicide victim

First photo: Family friend Elisa Natividad holds a sign with the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on Sunday evening outside the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room during a candlelight vigil for Casey Chargualaf. The 29-year-old man took his own life and was found on the hospital grounds Sept. 9. Mother Evie Chargualaf said that the family is “trying to break the stigma of being silent about suicide” and promote better mental health services.

“We’re here not only to be voices for him, because he tried so hard to stay alive, but to raise awareness about suicide prevention, mental health, addiction, anxiety, and to also make it comfortable for people to know there’s a lot of us that has family or friends or knows somebody that has gone through it, and it’s OK to share,” she said.

Second photo: Evie Chargualaf, mother of Casey Chargualaf, holds a photo of her son during the vigil alongside family and friends, including Casey’s father Frank Chargualaf and Maui County’s first lady, Jocelyn Victorino. “After we were sharing our story with Casey, a lot of people came up to me and shared their stories,” Frank Chargualaf said. “My son Casey had so many opportunities to prevent this death. But we just didn’t see the red flags. So we’re just glad that we’re speaking more about it.”

The Maui News / COLLEEN UECHI photos