A Clearinghouse of Behavioral Health Resources

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Photo: Lilinoe Kauahikaua

Na Lilinoe Kauahikaua

Papa Ola Lōkahi is excited to announce the upcoming launch of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander (AANHPI) ʻOhana Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health (ʻOhana CoE). The ʻOhana CoE is a partnership among the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health – Adult Mental Health Division (DOH-AMHD), Papa Ola Lōkahi (POL), San José State University (SJSU), and California State University East Bay (CSU-EB) through a 5-year grant from the federal Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA).

ʻOhana CoE will serve as a hub for technical assistance, culturally and linguistically appropriate behavioral health resources, research-informed seminars, and culturally responsive training. These resources will include live and recorded in-language presentations of behavioral health data, and culturally tailored workshops for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and cultures. Amplifying traditional and cultural approaches to behavioral health is vital.

We will address data and programmatic aggregation and lift the voices of NHPI communities to assure equitable representation in discussions about health and wellbeing, especially when addressing substance use and mental health throughout our communities.

The ʻOhana CoE, guided by a regional and national steering committee, acknowledges that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have differing experiences, visibility, social and geographic location, cultural and historical trauma, and language access needs across the U.S. and the U.S. Associated Pacific Islands (USAPI). Strategies to improve behavioral health in one region may not apply in other areas due to differences in ethnic and cultural demographics and available behavioral health care resources.

Look out for more information about kūkākūkā (talk story) sessions in early May, followed by informational events at which project goals and key partners of the ʻOhana CoE will be shared with the broader community.

E ola mau.


Lilinoe Kauahikaua, MSW, is a population health specialist – addictions, mental health, social justice with Papa Ola Lōkahi.