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Community Day of Healing Set for Kea‘au Shipman Park

March 8, 2019, 9:39 AM HST
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Fissure 8 and Leilani Estates viewed from the south. Houses in the foreground are located in the southern portion of Leilani Estates. Fissure 8 and surrounding lava and tephra deposits are shrouded in steam, caused by rain water being heated by the warm deposits. May–August 2018. PC: USGS

CARE Hawai‘i, Inc., a nonprofit organization contracted by the Hawai‘i Department of Health to provide crisis counseling services, will host a Community Day of Healing at the Kea‘au Shipman Park on Sunday, March 10, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to promote community health and wellness for those affected by the Kīlauea eruption.

The Kīlauea volcanic eruption and its aftermath still weigh heavily on the minds of many Hawai‘i Island residents, especially those who live in the Leilani Estates area who must continue to adjust to the changed landscape of their community. They must also contend with the emotional and psychological effects of such a major disaster.

From May 3 to Aug. 4, 2018, the Kīlauea volcanic eruption on Hawai‘i Island destroyed 716 homes, forced the evacuation of 2,000 residents, isolated 1,600 acres of farmland, and caused damage in the lower Puna region estimated at more than $800 million.

The Department of Health awarded $949,137 to CARE Hawai‘i Inc., for Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) for Hawai‘i Island for the period Sept. 21, 2018, to June 29, 2019. The funding came from two sources administered by the DOH’s Adult Mental Health Division: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The CCP is a short-term disaster relief grant made available after the president’s disaster declaration. The grant is designed to assist individuals and communities in recovering from the challenging effects of natural and human-caused disasters through the provision of community-based outreach, counseling, and psychoeducational services.

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Members from CARE Hawai‘i Inc.’s Team AHA, “Breath of Life,” will provide crisis counseling services, at the event. In addition to the Department of Health, CARE Hawaii, Inc. partnered with local businesses, agencies, and individuals to provide free food, live music by local musicians, haircuts, massages, smoking cessation services, and informational booths. There will also be a talk story session with survivors who will share their experiences during and after the eruption.

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About the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program

CARE Hawai‘i Inc., a contracted provider of the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Adult Mental Health Division, provides free crisis counseling services to individuals, families, and groups most affected by the Kīlauea eruption. Funding for these services is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Through CARE Hawai‘i’s Team AHA, crisis counselors provide door-to-door services, including emotional support, education on available resources, and referrals to community-based services.

The goals of the CCP are to: 1) help disaster survivors understand their current situation and reactions, 2) reduce stress and provide emotional support, 3) promote the use or development of coping strategies, and 4) connect survivors to community resources, support systems, and disaster relief services. The grant is administered by the DOH Adult Mental Health Division.

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