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Positive & Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACES) Hawai‘i
He ‘a‘ali‘i kū makani mai au; ‘a‘ohe makani nāna e kūla‘i.
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Massive mental health toll in Maui wildfires: 'They've lost everything' []


Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. visits a distribution center at Lahaina Crossing. A deadly wildfire destroyed the city of Lahaina, Maui. Deanne Fitzmaurice for NPR

By Eric Westervelt, National Public Radio (NPR), August 21, 2023

The scale of the physical damage in the historic center of Lahaina is clear in its apocalyptic landscape of rubble, ash and debris.

But the scale of the inner damage can be seen in the 5-year-old girl that Maui's chief mental health administrator John Oliver saw the other day. The girl came with her mother into the Lahaina community health clinic, next to the main burn zone, clutching a green and purple plushy stuffed animal. She seemed withdrawn and afraid.

"I got down to her level and I asked her name and how she was doing, asked about her stuffed animal. And she just offered up that 'I'm sad.' And I said 'I'm so sorry, why are you sad?' And she said 'I'm sad because I saw a lot of dead bodies.'"

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