$11 Mil Grant Awarded to State to Improve Mental Health of Youth

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An $11.8 million grant has been awarded to the state to expand mental health and substance abuse services for youth in Hawai‘i.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD) was awarded the four-year grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The grant will focus on enhancing services for approximately 2,400 youth (ages 3-21) with serious emotional disturbances per year statewide.

Funding will begin in August.

“Now more than ever, it is important for us to work collaboratively with our child-serving partners to protect and improve children’s mental health,” said CAMHD Acting Administrator, Scott Shimabukuro. “We know that the COVID-19 pandemic and other societal stressors will have lasting impacts on the wellness of our children and families. These funds offer the opportunity to use cutting-edge strategies to address this growing crisis in our state.”


As the largest, Medicaid-serving, behavioral health care organization in Hawai‘i, CAMHD provides mental health services free of charge to eligible youth with severe emotional and/or behavioral challenges. Services include assessment, case management, and an array of therapeutic supports provided in the home and community, or temporary out-of-home placements.

The goals of the expansion grant, also described as the “Data to Wisdom” grant, are to reduce out-of-home mental health services by improving youth outcomes through strengthening the state’s data-driven decision making infrastructure; increasing coordination across child-serving agencies; improving adherence to Child and Adolescent Service System Program principles, and bolstering in-home treatments that strengthen families.


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