DOH launches new mental health hotline focused in tackling challenges due to the pandemic

DOH launches new mental health hotline focused in tackling challenges due to the pandemic
Months of isolation and social distancing can lead some to experience pandemic fatigue. (Source: KEYC News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Department of Health launched a new crisis counseling assistance program Friday to provide support for children and adults experiencing challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The new program, called “Ku Makani – The Hawaii Resiliency Project,” offers counseling, education, information and resource navigation for people experiencing mental health crises.

Trained crisis counselors are located on each major island and includes staff bilingual in Ilokano, Spanish, Hawaiian, Tongan, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese, Palauan and Samoan.

The department of health received a $2.1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to create the program.

Residents can access the new program by calling Hawaii CARES 1-800-753-6879 and selecting option #1.

Calls can be made between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and state holidays, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Services are available for children, teenagers and adults.

For general crisis support services not specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, including mental health resources, substance use treatment services or help with isolation and quarantine, residents can call Hawaii CARES at 1-800-753-6879 or text ‘ALOHA’ to 741741. This service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

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