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Lokahi building good mental health

More than 160 youths and their families coverged at the Lu‘au Kalamaku pavilion for a Sunday afternoon of music, resources and fellowship when the Lokahi Concert opened its doors at Kilohana plantation in Puhi.

Emcee Lexi Jones played news reporter as she juggled vendors offering resources on mental health wellness to anti-bullying messages, and the list of entertainers included Paula Fuga, Aldrine Guerrero and Bronson Aiwohi, who were joined by local musicians like Kapa‘a Middle School Choir and ‘Ukulele Band, Tsunami Taiko and ‘Ukulele Underground.

“The purpose of this Lokahi Concert is to promote mental health and the prevention of bullying,” said Alice Luck, the president and CEO of Kaua‘i Planning &Action Alliance. “The topic of bullying was selected by high school students themselves. Bullying is a major public health concern with substantive consequences. Hawai‘i youth have long struggled with the issue of bullying on and off campus.”

She said 40 percent of Kaua‘i students feel bullying is a serious issue at their school. Negative outcomes of bullying may include depression, anxiety, involvement in interpersonal violence or sexual violence, substance abuse, poor social functioning and poor school performance.

Youths who report frequently bullying others, and youths who report being frequently bullied, are at increased risk for suicide-related behavior, Luck said.

“Lokahi was intended to bring hope to those experiencing bullying by connecting them with local resources and information on mental health,” Luck said. “Coming together for this event conveyed a strong message that our Kaua‘i island ‘ohana is with them always — ready, willing and able to provide consistent, loving support.”

Produced by the Kaua‘i Resilience Project team, which partnered with Innovative Giving Enhancement and Groove Productions, nonprofit groups participated in providing resources on youth development opportunities, prevention, health and mental health. The groups included Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i Community Science Center, Hawai‘i Medical Service Association, Kaua‘i Mental Health Advocates, and Hale ‘Opi‘o.

Choose Aloha ambassador for Hawai‘i Dawn O’Brien, Chris Molina of Liliu‘okalani Trust, Franci DaVila of Kaua‘i Mental Health Advocates, and Kaua‘i County Council Member Felicia Cowden provided words of wisdom for the youths and adults to deal with the issue of bullying and cultivate good mental health.

For more information about the Kaua‘i Resilience Project, an island-wide initiative to combat youth suicide, visit
Source: The Garden Island

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