May is Children’s Mental Health Month
Positive mental health is so important to a child’s healthy development
Caring for Every Keiki’s
Mental health disorders are some of the most common health issues of childhood. One out of every five children and youth has a diagnosable mental health need. Unfortunately, however, not every keiki who has a mental health need receives treatment and/or services. This could be due to a lack of awareness and not knowing what services are available. It could be because families have a hard time getting services (for a lot of reasons). Or it could be because some people may feel shame about receiving mental health care.
This year’s Keiki Mental Health Matters theme is Suicide Prevention: Strategies That Work, and national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grantee communities, like Hawaii, will focus on the impact that suicide has on children, youth, young adults, families and communities.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016. In Hawaii, nearly 180 people die every year because of suicide, and the rate of suicide went up about 18% from 1999 to 2016. However, even with the high number of our family members, friends and neighbors dying by suicide in our state, we don’t often talk about it—and that needs to change.
When we look at Hawaii’s children/youth and suicide, the numbers are tough to come to terms with as well. About 10% of high school students reported having attempted suicide in the past year in a 2017 CDC survey done in Hawaii schools. Another 6% said they had seriously contemplated it (16% of those surveyed).
The Crisis Line of Hawaii provides a team of trained and experienced professionals to help individuals in times of a mental health crisis. The Crisis Line of Hawaii is here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On Oahu, call 832-3100. On the neighbor islands, call toll-free at 1-800-753-6879.
If you’d rather text, text ALOHA to 741741. We have a partnership with Crisis Text Line, a national organization that connects texters with a crisis counselor, a real-life human being who is trained to bring people from a hot moment to a cool calm.
If you are experiencing an emergency or believe you are a danger to yourself and/or others, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room for immediate assistance.
The Keiki Mental Health Matters campaign is a collaboration of the Hawaii Department of Health’s Child & Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD), other child-serving state agencies, and community-based organizations across the state that we call our Community Champions.
The campaign goal is to raise awareness of the importance of children’s mental health and mental health services. Each year, we recognize the month of May as Children’s Mental Health Month with events all over the islands.
Our primary event sponsors this year are the Hawaii Department of Health’s Child & Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD), the Hawaii Department of Education and Hawai’i Women in Filmmaking.
Resources & Sponsors
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Help spread the word about keiki mental health by sharing on social media!
For more information about internships, special academic projects and other opportunities with our local Hawaii sponsors, please contact us.
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