Hawaiian spiritual counselor Kristy L. Cramer is in her sixth year at the Hawaii Center for Spiritual Counseling, which she opened in June 2016.
Cramer said she had no prior experience working with the public, and that the experience was very helpful.
But in the years since she started the program, she said, the numbers of cases and deaths have skyrocketed.
The center was founded by former Honolulu Police Chief Joseph C. Ettel, who was shot to death in 2016.
Etti had been the police chief of Hawaii County for five years.
Crafters, spiritual counselors and other practitioners have been helping people to navigate the legal process surrounding mental illness since Ettell’s death.
Cramer said she was particularly concerned about the increase in suicides and deaths.
She said she wanted to see the law changed to include the same protections for mental health professionals that it already provides for police officers and firefighters.
She said it would also be great to see more of a public health focus.
She added that she also wanted to create a platform where people could share their stories and be heard, as well as a forum for the public to share their experiences.
Cranes, who has been working with people for the past seven years, said she found her first case of a suicidal person in her career.
She did not disclose the nature of the case.
She was working in her office when she heard a person was on the phone with her and she called the police.
“I don’t think it would be the same if you were in a car and you were driving through a crowd,” Cranes said.
“The police are in the front of your vehicle.”
Cramer has not reported the case to the Hawaii Department of Health and Social Services because it is still under investigation.
She hopes to see her work in other places as well.
Cramer hopes to open a second spiritual counseling center in the coming months.
The center is currently open for business.