Our Islands, Our Future

On Maui since 1972, Mental Health America (MHA) of Hawaii has been a leading mental health education and advocacy organization. Dedicated to promoting wellness, MHA’s prevention programs are designed to improve the care and treatment of people living with mental illness and to reduce the stigma of it. “As we look ahead, the Maui office of MHA is gearing up the education side of our agency for a very busy year,” said Danielle Bergan, MHA Maui Community Coordinator. “We hope to expand mental health awareness in schools and community organizations and continue to advocate at the legislature for mental health on behalf of the community.”

Some of the programs available for youth and adults include Youth Suicide and Bullying Prevention, to combat bullying and suicide ideation amongst Hawaii’s youth. “It aims to teach youth how to recognize and intervene in a bullying situation and how to use suicide prevention tools,” said Bergan. “We will be conducting several of these two-hour trainings for our Maui intermediate and high schools throughout the year. We can also provide it for agencies that work with youth, including community and church groups.”

Youth Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents. It builds understanding of the importance of early intervention and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Additionally, there is a Mental Health First Aid program that is geared for adults.

“Especially for adults we offer ‘Live Your Life Well’,” Bergan explained. “This training is a one-hour mental wellness presentation about stress in everyday life and the workplace that includes a clinically tested program of 10 actions that can help to improve mental health. This is a great training for companies and organizations to help their employees better cope with stress.”

Bergan concluded, “We hope raising awareness of the issues and recognizing the signs of mental illness will bring insight to handling its challenges. It is a sign of courage, not weakness, to seek help.”

MHA is offering all their trainings to the community at no cost. Learn how to identify problems, intervene, and get help. For more information call: (808) 242-6461.

Danielle Bergan, MHA Maui Community Coordinator