Hawaiʻi children and youth are experiencing lower levels of economic well-being and education, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The report also found Hawaiʻi youth were more likely to have depression and anxiety after the first year of the COVID pandemic.      The annual Kids Count Data Book tracks … Read more

CARF International announced that Pacific Quest has been accredited for a period of three years for its adolescent and young adult programs. Pacific Quest is an integrated behavioral health program that has been providing mental health care for adolescents and young adults on Hawaii Island since 2004. By pursuing and achieving accreditation, Pacific Quest has demonstrated that … Read more

Hawaii health care organizations are urging Gov. David Ige to reconsider his intent to veto a bill that would allow insurers to offer telephonic behavioral health services, or audio-only telehealth, as a covered benefit. Ige released his intent to veto list on June 27th, containing a total of 30 bills.     HB 1980, which … Read more

A bill that would convene a task force under the Hawaii Department of Health to study the availability of psilocybin-based products in Hawaii is making its way through the state legislature.      Psilocybin is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in certain mushrooms and may be used to treat certain mental health conditions, such as … Read more

Hawaii legislators are working to pass dozens of health bills in preparation for the second decking deadline on April 8th. Recent movement in the legislature included bills that address telehealth, substance use, and the rural health workforce.     Health insurance coverage and reimbursement Several bills were referred to the House Committee on Health, Human … Read more

The Behavioral Health Services Administration (BHA) under the Department of Health is working to update and improve its one-stop shop behavioral health crisis response system, Hawaii CARES. Improvements will help the administration prepare for the implementation of the nationwide 988 suicide prevention hotline later this year.     Starting next month, the Adult Mental Health … Read more

According to a December 2020 report from the Hawaii Department of Health’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD), suicide was the second-leading cause of death in young people in Hawaii. Experts say the pandemic and social isolation have further stressed mental health among kids and their families.      State of Reform spoke with … Read more

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has opened conversations about improving behavioral health across the nation, and the importance of creating robust, communicative systems of care. In Hawaii, the state’s unique geography and cultural demographics have led to the development of a diverse network of behavioral health services. State of Reform spoke with some of the organizations … Read more

Heather Lusk is the executive director of the Hawai‘i Health and Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC). HHHRC has stayed open throughout the pandemic, serving communities at the intersection of houselessness, chronic diseases such as HIV, and behavioral health and substance use. In this Q&A, Lusk speaks on how HHHRC was able to pivot its services to … Read more

Discussions on substance use disorder in Hawaii have become more prevalent, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocates are focusing particularly on opioid use, and ways to reduce stigma and overdose among Hawaii residents. However, one Oahu doctor says the same focus should be spent on Hawaii’s methamphetamine epidemic.      What the data says Dr. … Read more