March 19, 2015
Hawaii youth who have experienced trauma and need mental health and other services but may have difficulty accessing care from traditional sources now have an easier way to receive the help they need.
Friends of Children’s Mental Health, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, provides another way for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD) of the Hawaii State Department of Health to carry on its mission of helping families and providing them with access to the different types of services they need.
The non-profit organization is based on the same model of Project Kealahou, a federally-funded program administered by CAMHD, which provides more flexibility for families to access support options that are not limited to clinic-based services.
Project Kealahou provides mental health and social services support for girls ages 11 to 21 who are survivors of trauma. Project Kealahou’s success is based in part on the ability to allow families to access services from non-traditional, community-based settings, which are often better suited to the needs of stressed families than traditional clinic-based services.
Government programs and employees have limited ability to provide a broader range of options for families. Through Friends of Children’s Mental Health, families can access non-traditional, culture-based therapeutic activities and receive emergency funding to meet basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, health, safety and education.
Kaiser Permanente recently awarded Friends of Children’s Mental Health a $20,000 grant, which will be used to support families and youth served by CAMHD as well as other government agencies such as the Hawaii Department of Education and the Hawaii Department of Human Services.
The grant from Kaiser Permanente will be used to serve and train youth and their families to live healthy, safe and productive lives. The non-profit organization will also use the funds to implement statewide workforce development training initiatives to raise awareness about trauma and to provide gender-specific trauma programs.