Hawaii Receives Grant for Mental Health Services

October 29, 2010, 9:23 AM HST
* Updated October 29, 11:32 PM
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Residents of Hawaii dealing with mental health issues will now have additional support and services available, thanks to a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This $3.6 million grant will go directly to the Hawaii Department of Health, to be distributed to the facilities and training programs that need it most. The new grant brings $730,000 each year for five years to enhance the quality of care mental health patients receive throughout the islands.

Specific Earmarks

The grant will focus on particular areas of mental health care, including trauma-informed, recovery-oriented services to adults with severe mental conditions. The advanced services and training will assist some of Hawaii’s most vulnerable residents, by helping health care providers learn more about the neurological and physical effects of stress and traumatic experiences on one’s mental health. Providers will also get a better idea of how to help patients not only recover from their conditions, but learn to live independently whenever possible.

The grant will help providers learn how to integrate the use of trauma management skills into their practices, particularly in forensic settings. Providers will be able to improve their services and recovery options for those living with persistent mental disorders, using evidence-based, proven treatments. The specifics of the grant include:

  • Comprehensive trauma screenings and assessments for Hawaiian residents across the state
  • Training and consultation to providers within the Adult Mental Health Division (AMHD) on trauma and trauma-informed care
  • Trauma-specific recovery and crisis planning

During the first year of the grant, providers will receive the support and training they need to successfully screen for and treat various types of trauma. The second year of the grant will take the training a step further, preparing mental health workers to provide trauma-informed services.

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Other Grants Hawaii has Received

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This current grant by SAMSHA is not the first Hawaii has received. In 2006, the state accepted a $10.95 million five-year grant known as the Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant. This grant was used to identify trauma in a need assessment in many Hawaii communities. As a result of this work, trauma-informed care projects were launched in the state in 2009 and 2010 through a number of area hospitals and correctional facilities.

Because of the success with the 2006 grant, Hawaii has actively pursued other potential grants in this area. Focus on mental health care in the area of trauma has increased, as information has become available about the effect of trauma on persons with severe mental illness and evidence-based practices have been born from this knowledge.

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