I Ola Lahui is a 501(c)(3) Hawai‘i nonprofit corporation in operation since 2017. Their mission is to provide culturally minded, evidence-based behavioral health services that are responsive to the needs of medically underserved, Native Hawaiian, and rural communities. They provide behavioral health services that are tailored to the unique needs of each community and train the next generation of providers while they do it. We spoke with Aukahi Austin Seabury, Ph.D., Executive Director and Licensed Clinical Psychologist of I Ola Lāhui Inc.
“Our accredited training program places future psychologists in neighbor island, rural, and undeserved communities where they can provide behavioral health services while they are training. Using this model, we’ve been very successful at placing psychologists in settings where they get hired on and remain once they are licensed. In this way, we create a sustainable workforce to serve in our most needed areas. We are working with the University on interdisciplinary training models to include social work, pharmacy, family medicine and psychiatry. When we say behavioral health, we mean helping people who struggle both with mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, trauma and life stress along with those who are struggling to make change in their lives due to a health concern. This includes weight and diabetes management, smoking cessation and hypertension to name a few. We work with children and families on areas like parenting and healthy relationships with peers, individuals and couples therapy, and have specialized programs for kupuna and caregivers. We engage with a community to understand their needs and then develop a program in partnership with the community health organizations in that community to meet those needs.”
Doctor Seabury also provided tip for people who are struggling to be okay right now due to the pandemic.
“ 1- Do all of your usual health and happiness practices such as exercise and laughter, even if you have to do them a little differently. If those aren’t enough, find new ones.
2- Do something to engage your spirit every day- go outside and feel a natural element, pray or meditate, sit and enjoy a quiet moment without multi-tasking, turn off all glowing boxes (TV, phone, computer) for a certain time each day.
3- Connect and seek help if you need it. Friends, family, co-workers, pastor or priest, behavioral health provider or help line.”
For more information visit online at http://iolalahui.org/