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Emerging from the pandemic- Raising awareness in our early learning environments

This is a great article to raise awareness both language and social emotional development for our early learners and their 'ohana. The mask mandate (I am an advocate for wearing a mask) could potential stunt the socio-emotional growth of a child. This is why it is so important for parents in the safety of the home, help their keiki with the learning and reading of social and emotional cues. Early childhood educators should consider providing resources to caregivers to help families with...

Awareness . . . Policy & Action!

This is a great article that highlights the need to addresses the need for awareness and to grow mental health practices in Hawai'i. The article mentions the five-year Infant and Early Childhood Behavioral Health (IECBH) Plan that integrates mental health and trauma-informed care into the health and early learning systems throughout the state. A cross-sector approach to building wellness and resilience is definitely trauma-informed. Mahalo to Justina Acevedo-Cross and Erin Henderson Lacerdo...

CRI Resilience Showcase Conference 6/29 & 39

May is, "Mental Health Wellness" month. I will be showcasing conferences and professional development opportunities that address mental health awareness by addressing and building wellness. The amazing folks at the Community Resilience Initiative are putting on their 7th annual Paper Tigers Conference. It is a virtual event that features experts from across the nation (including Hawai'i speakers) who are building wellness and resilience in their states. To register click on this link .

Kahewai Summit

Aloha, We are having our 2nd Annual "Kahewai 0-5 Wellness and Resilience Summit on Thursday April This conference is for the 0-5 providers (Family Childcare, Family Child Interactive Learning, Home Visiting and Center-based care). Our theme this year is, "Hā" or "breath." The pandemic has been challenging for all of us, this virtual conference will focus on three types of breath: - "Catching our breath." We have been through the "COVID" sprints and we simply need to breath to restore...

When we understand . . . we can address, heal and provide hope.

This by Thomas Hubl provides an interesting insight on the toll taken by COVID-19. As mask restrictions and social distancing standards begin to lift throughout our state, there are many who still feel the stress, tension, anxiety, and trauma of the last two years. Hubl, defines Collective Trauma as, “ . . . a sudden shock upends not just one person’s life, but everyone in the community.” Collective trauma as the article...

Schatz, Murkowski applaud Senate passage of historic tribal provisions in Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization (

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chairman of the Committee, released the following statements on inclusion of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (VAWA) in a bipartisan appropriations deal. The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. “Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022’s tribal provisions will restore justice for Native...

Hā- "Just breath . . . "

“ The breath is a tool and can be used in many ways. Some types of breathing exercises definitely improve stress and anxiety. Just cross out “deep” and insert some other modifiers." - Julia Enguland Strait, PhD. I hope this post does not offend people who begin workshops or meetings with "deep breathing" exercises, it is not my intention. When I began zoom trainings during the pandemic, I would often start with a "Hanu/Hā" or breathing in and out to begin the session, for example, "4-7-8"...

High-quality early education . . . a key protective factor

80-85% of a child's brain is formed in the first 1,000 days of life. This is the time that we need to take care of our keiki (children), but who is taking care of the caregivers? It is difficult to "grow the field" when the wages earned in early education cannot meet the most basic needs of providers. This HPR link shares potential Hawai'i legislation that will address the challenges that early childhood care providers.

SB2482. The Office of Wellness and Resilience

Aloha, In 2021, the State of Hawaiʻi legislature passed a law to create the ACT 209 Task Force. This interagency task force was given the charge to present recommendations that would create a trauma-informed care state. SB2482 , submitted by Ways and Means Chair, Senator Donovan Dela Cruz would create the Office of Wellness and Resilience. This office would carry forward the recommendations of the task force and truly set the infrastructure to perpetuate trauma-informed care practices in...

Evidence-based treatments in the Child Welfare System

Connecticut’s Family First Prevention Services plan provides an opportunity to build an array of effective behavioral health treatments and other services for those children most at-risk for foster home placement with the goal of keeping families together. This is a link to an article from Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut that provides insights on the effectiveness of EBT. There are also three solid recommendations in the article including collaboration, training and...

Save the Date!!! TIC 0-5 Virtual Conference 4/21 & 22!

Aloha Kākou! The Kahewai Summit was a success last year and we are pleased to announce the 2nd annual virtual conference! Please spread the word and let me know if you are interested in presenting or if you have a speaker you would like to recommend. The theme of our conference this year is, "Hā" or "breath." We will have a wide range of speakers from Kānaka perspectives as well as western sciences that will speak to the "breath of life." Here is a link to the "Save the Date" info- please...

"Pour out from our saucer"

I hear the expression, "make sure that your cup is getting filled," but that means we might be at a point where our cup is empty or half empty and needs to be filled. The caution is always given that if you are "thirsty in the desert, it is too late you are dehydrated." So in theory, we should always be practicing self-care so that we are pouring out to those we serve because we are "overflowing" from our own "cup." I know optimistic yet ideal target to shoot for in our daily life. One way...

Processing COVID-19, the rise with Omnicron, Secondary Traumatic Stress and "COVID-fatigue"

Aloha and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year! This is a very simple, yet powerful activity that you can do with keiki (children), whole families, staff members, students and clients to help them processes the COVID stress associated with the Omnicron strain. This may also be helpful for those who are experiencing "COVID fatigue," secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue. Simply take a sheet of paper and fold, "hamburger style" and write "COVID" in the middle of the sheet. One one...

Winning the wrong race . . . we can change the trajectory!

This is a sobering article - This should be a kāhea- a call that we need to acknowledge the trauma and stress that we are experiencing and be kind to ourselves, educate and advocate for the protective factors and address community trauma by building community resilience. Please post how you are involved in community resilience projects! Mahalo, Danny

The "reason" for the season

Happy Holidays everyone! This is an excellent article by SAMSHA that highlights the need for us to keep the holiday season in perspective and to make sure that we recognize that the Holiday season can trigger providers, clients and the community at-large. The holiday season can be a joyous and restful time, but it can also be a time of anxiety, stress, binge-eating on all the yummy sweets and for some isolation. Please be kind to yourself this holiday season and Happy Holidays from ACH!

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