Honolulu (KHON2) – In observance of Mental Health Acceptance Month, the Department of Health offers resources for youth and families dealing with mental health.

According to Hawaii’s Department of Health, in 2021, the U.S. Surgeon General and the nation’s leading experts in children’s health declared a national emergency in child and youth mental health. 

“A lot of our youth are still struggling from the effects of the pandemic. For example, as a youth partner with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, I worked with a youth in high school who was bullied and was suffering from anxiety/depression,” says Tianna Webster, Youth Partner – Hawai’i Island; Child & Adolescent Mental Health Division, Hawai’i Dept. of Health.

According to Webster, the pandemic’s negative impacts really impacted Hawai‘i youth who were already vulnerable to begin with, such as LGBTQ+ youth, low-income youth, youth in rural areas of our islands and homeless youth. 

“As a youth partner with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, I worked with a youth in high school who was feeling super isolated and lonely during covid. We were able to come up with a plan for her to make time to see old friends and make new ones too,” says Tiffany Darragh, Youth Partner – Kaua‘i, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Division, Hawai’i Dept. of Health

Individuals in need of crisis or mental health support services can call Hawai’i Cares for free 24/7 support at 1-800-753-6879 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting ALOHA to 741741. 

For more information about children’s mental health services, visit https://health.hawaii.gov/camhd/.

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