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Local mom shares experience dealing with her son's mental health challenges

Jackie Jackson

About 13,000 Hawaiʻi youth experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Hawaiʻi Department of Health. But more than half, approximately 7,000, did not receive treatment or a mental health assessment.

Experts say children and adolescents are more likely to seek help when accessing mental health services is destigmatized. Jackie Jackson is a parent of two adult sons and legal guardian of a young daughter. Her first-hand experience dealing with her son’s mental health challenges led her to become a Certified Parent Support Provider with Hawaii Families As Allies. She sat down with The Conversation to share that story.

Mental health resources:

  • Help Your Keiki provides local resources regarding children’s mental health and evidence-based treatments.
  • Here to Help supports student mental health and well-being through an array of school and community-based resources, cultivates safe and supportive environments, and ensures every student has what they need to thrive and reach their full potential.
  • The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (NFFCMH) offers resources and activities to help families get involved throughout May.
  • Mālama da Mind is a locally developed site for Hawai’i Island families, filled with great resources for families (regardless of location).
  • Mental Health America of Hawai’i hosts an array of self-help tools and supports for individuals of all ages.
  • For free, 24/7 crisis support, text ALOHA to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor via Crisis Text Line or call Hawai’i CARES on Oʻahu (808) 832-3100 or toll-free +1 (800) 753-6879.

This interview aired on The Conversation on May 18, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at ltsang@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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