The Lahaina News | May 20, 2022

With mental health entering more of our daily conversations, the national organization Mental Health America wants the public to have a solid foundation of knowledge about mental health. To that end, it is providing helpful tools, definitions and resources for Mental Health Awareness Month this May.

Locally, the nonprofit organization Aloha House is addressing mental health needs by delivering critical services to those suffering from behavioral health issues, including substance use and mental health disorders.

“We appreciate the resources provided by Mental Health America for May is Mental Health Awareness Month, as they are sharing very important information. We also want the community to know that local help is available,” said Jud Cunningham, CEO of Aloha House.

“We have a crisis outreach team, mental health professionals and substance use disorder treatment available. We’re seeing a marked increase in demand for counseling services, and our staff are working hard to meet that demand.”

The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on many individuals’ mental health, and subsequently, many are seeking services or learning about mental health topics for the first time.

Having an understanding of the topic can help individuals if they or someone they know is experiencing a mental health condition or crisis.

Half of the U.S. population will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life, and it is estimated that one in five currently have a diagnosable condition.

Resources can be found online at https://www.mhanational.org/.

From social determinants of health to genetics, many factors are in play when it comes to mental health conditions, but there are protective measures that can prevent mental health conditions from developing, or keep symptoms from becoming severe.

Professionals indicate that the delays for getting treatment for mental health conditions can be longer than for other health conditions, and they recommend seeking services as soon as you think you may need them.

Aloha House services are available island-wide via telehealth, and several providers are available in West Maui, Central Maui and Upcountry for in-person services.

The agency provides substance use disorder residential treatment, a sober living program, outpatient services, detox services, and mental health counseling and therapy, serving approximately 6,000 clients per year.

Aloha House is a partner agency within Maui Behavioral Health Resources, an umbrella organization of three nonprofit agencies: Aloha House, Malama Family Recovery Center and Maui Youth & Family Services. It is the largest non-profit treatment provider on Maui.

All three agencies seek to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment to Maui residents.

After operating independently for many years, the three agencies merged in 2008 to share and maximize their expertise, reduce overhead costs and eliminate service duplication.

Together, the three agencies provide services to almost 8,000 individuals in the Maui community each year. Those seeking help can call (808) 579-8414 or visit www.MBHR.org.

Read the article here.