During Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Month, Living808 and the Department of Health is focusing on our keiki and what they need to get though the toughest of times.  On today’s show Dr. Mestisa Gass, the Program Director for Mental Health America of Hawaiʻi, joined John Veneri in the Living808 Lounge to discuss the importance of creating an emotional toolbox with our keiki.

“Children are more tactile and behaviorally oriented so objects that engage their senses are more impactful than discussions on complex emotions. Teaching a child that this item helps you feel calmer and where to find it when it is needed, can be more effective.  On May 3rd at 12pm, Mental Health America of Hawai‘i in partnership with the Wailuku Public Library will be discussing how to create an emotional toolbox with keiki. Recommendations will include sensory items, toys, and books that will be reviewed by librarians, Jessica Gleason and Tammy Ching. There will also be a discussion of a new program at the library for parents and educators to check out social emotional learning based books and kits to further learning about keiki self-care.”

Dr. Gass also discussed the importance of teaching our keiki about self-care.

”Skills learned in childhood can easily be adapted to be used throughout a lifetime. These skills help them manage stress, improve mood, and overall, can make them more resilient to the challenges of life. It also normalizes mental health, asking for help, and seeing self-care as part of the day to day.”

For more information visit mentalhealthhawaii.org or on social media.

Social Media Handles: FB: @MHAHawaii, IG: @mhahawaii @livenaau,YouTube: mhaofhawaii, TikTok: mhahawaii                           

You can also take part in the Department of Health, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Division’s social media challenge happening throughout the month of May.

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Division | CMHA22 (hawaii.gov)