DOH holds series of virtual events during National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Health is hosting a series of virtual events during National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month.

The DOH is partnering with the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Planning Group to encourage parents to talk about mental health with their children.

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“Hawaii’s youth have faced challenges to their social, emotional and mental well-being amid the pandemic,” said Dr. Scott Shimabukuro, acting administrator for the DOH Child & Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD). “We want to remind families that mental wellness is as important as physical wellness. Keiki who feel a sense of being cared for, supported and belonging at school and home are more likely to experience positive mental health outcomes in adulthood.”

Virtual events for this year’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month include:

  • May 4: Mental Health Forum on KHII from 7:30 to 8 p.m. and KHON2 from 9:30 to 10 p.m.
    • Featuring Dr. Lesley Slavin, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, Melissa Harper-Osai, Child and Family Service ‘Ohana Support Services, and Billie-Ann Bruce, EPIC ‘Ohana.
  • May 6: Virtual Sign Waving
    • Participants are encouraged to wear green and share how they take care of their mental health as part of the social media campaign.
  • May 14: Mental Health Awareness and Awards Celebration
    • Raising Voices to Save Lives from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. presented by Mental Health America of Hawai‘i and Sutter Health Kāhi Mōhala. To attend this online event, click here.
  • May 17-21: Aloha Tower Green Light Display
    • Bring awareness to children’s mental health issues.
  • May 19: Keiki Self-Care Webinar
    • Hosted by Mental Health America of Hawai‘i in partnership with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, highlights Keiki Self-Care from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Parents will learn how keiki express and experience emotions and practice skills to help keiki build emotional toolboxes and get community resources to share. 
    • Email MHA with questions at and register here to attend.
  • May 22-26: A Virtual Youth Mental Health Film Festival
    • Online showcase of short films produced by youth during Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking programs, hosted by Mental Health America of Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking. Films are available online from May 22 at 8 a.m. until May 26 at 3 p.m. On May 26, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., join a Zoom Q&A with the filmmakers. Register here for the Q&A.
  • May 24-28: Honolulu Hale Green Light Display
    • In support of children’s mental health.
  • May 28: Brown Bag Webinar 
    • About the services and programs available through CAMHD featuring Medical Director Dr. Kurt Humphrey and Neighbor Island Services Branch Chief Keli Acquaro, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Register here.

Free mental health resources are available to Hawaii’s children, youth and families through Help Your Keiki and Mental Health America of Hawai’iThe National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health also offers resources and activities to help families get involved throughout May.

If you or your child is experiencing a crisis or needs access to mental health resources, 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, click here.

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