East Hawaii News

Non-Profit Providing More Options for Youth Mental Health

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Hawai‘i youth in need of specialized mental health and other services may now have an easier way to get help.

Friends of Children’s Mental Health, a non-profit organization, is providing non-traditional, culture-based therapies for families, as well as emergency funding to provide basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, health, safety, and education.  The program is based on the same model as Project Kealahou, which offers support options outside of clinical services.

The non-profit’s objective supports the State’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division.  Kaiser Permanente recently awarded Friends of Children’s Mental Health a $20,000 grant, supporting child service programs and helping to implement statewide workforce development training.  Kaiser Permanente President Mary Ann Barnes said these programs align with Kaiser’s objective to eliminate health disparities and inequities.

“Hawaii’s youth deserve good health, and it is great to be partnering with the Hawaii Department of Health, which shares our vision of making sure that even the most vulnerable youth receive the care they need,” Barnes said.

“We are very thankful for partners like Kaiser Permanente. We appreciate the financial support for programs that are changing young lives and enhancing the quality of life for Hawaii’s youth,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, director of the Hawaii Department of Health. “This generous grant allows families to receive services that Medicaid or other government programs may not cover.”


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