We will build the capacity of Hawaiʻi Island residents to understand the impacts of traumatic events, experience, and effects and develop skills to provide support. We aim to achieve this by:

  • Investing in and promoting Mental Health First Aid
  • Developing a Trauma Informed Care Community of Practice

  • Building a critical mass of individuals trained in Critical Incident Stress Management


One in five adults on our island lives with a mental illness, right now. Mental health disorders are more common than heart disease and cancer combined, yet most employers, social services, communities of faith, neighbors and family members do not have the knowledge and skills to appropriately respond. 

Mental Health First Aid is the initial help given to someone experiencing a mental health problem before appropriate treatment and support are obtained.  It may be for a crisis situation, or it may be when a person is developing a mental illness. 

Vibrant Hawai’i believes that Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is as vital as CPR to community health and safety. With monies awarded though the County of Hawaiʻi CARES fund, the Vibrant Hawaiʻi Workforce Resilience Stream will provide an opportunity for a cohort of individuals island-wide to become certified Mental Health First Aid instructors - a value of $2,200 for each individual. As an instructor, you will be certified to teach the Mental Health First Aid USA 8-hour training course. 


In exchange for the value of the instructor course, we ask each participant to commit to training a minimum of (10) people in their respective community no later than December 23, 2020.


The Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Community of Practice (CoP) aims to support communities and build capacity to deliver training and technical assistance to support mental and behavioral health vulnerabilities that have exacerbated as a result of COVID-19. With funding from the County of Hawaiʻi CARES grant, The TIC CoP will assist public, private and philanthropy sectors to build, restore and maintain healthy, resilient, thriving communities, through the blending of Native Hawaiian and other indigenous cultures with the science of resilience and TIC. By the close of the project, our community will have gained (38) Mental Health First Aid Instructors representatives of all 9-districts of the island, (300) Certified Mental Health First Aid Practitioners, (2) Trauma Informed Care Community of Practice Instructors, (6) Trauma Informed Care Community of Practice Practitioners representing (6) of (9) districts, and 800 residents who have attended a Trauma Informed Care workshop to build a strong community of practice and fuel momentum toward a resilient community.

Community Workshops will focus on 

  • Trauma Informed Care 101

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences and Benevolent Childhood Experiences

  • Cultural and Historical Trauma

We aim to shift our community's narrative, culture, stigma, and shame around trauma and burnout, and promote healing and resilience through a two-lens perspective that includes both Indigenous and Western practice. We aim to achieve this by:

  • Developing social media messaging

  • Promoting stories of resilience and post-traumatic growth

  • Build a repository of Indigenous healing science

We will identify, design, and disseminate tools and resources to promote whole person health, safety, and wellbeing. We aim to achieve this by:

  • Designing and curate resources

  • Developing an inventory of on-island offerings

  • Developing our own culturally responsive trainings


Kōkua aku, kōkua mai, pēlā ihola ka nohona ʻohana. Give help, receive help, that is the way of family. 

Since the onset of COVID-19, Pandemic Pods, Learning Pods, and Parent Pods have been popping up all over. Pods are built from relationships you have with folks in your neighborhood, fellowship, school, or workplace. In partnership with Community First, Vibrant Hawaiʻi Parents have developed a simple guide to help working parents develop their very own Parent Pod.

We will advocate for legislative policy and sources of funding to catalyze systemic change that embeds a trauma informed, healing centered response into the way government and organizations do business and build community health and resilience. We aim to achieve this by:

  • Including ʻāina based healing in Employee Assistance Programs

  • Advocating for the expansion services that are eligible for reimbursement in health plans

  • Developing public policy to include Trauma Informed Care as a condition to receive public funding

©2019 by Vibrant Hawai'i.