February Newsletter


Hawaii Youth Services Network staff are fortunate in having a therapy dog in training in our office. Milo’s human is Sonja Bigalke-Bannan, the National Association of Social Workers (Hawaii chapter) Executive Director, but we all get to share his love and comfort.

Milo is in the office a couple of days a week and he looks forward to it. When he gets bored lying on his doggie bed by the window or chewing on some jerky, he wanders through the office, nudging people to let them know that he’s available for petting. After a minute or two, he moves on to the next person, never taking offense if someone declines the opportunity.

Milo is good for me. He reminds me that I spend too much time at my computer, and offers me an irresistible alternative. If I need fresh air, he’s always happy to take a walk.

But Milo and other therapy dogs serve a more important purpose. He went to Haleiwa to provide comfort to the search and rescue personnel who participated in the search for the 12 Marines lost in the helicopter crash. Dogs like him work in Hawaii’s courts with victims and witnesses of violent crimes who have to testify about their trauma. Therapy dogs helped the children and teachers at Sandy Hook after the mass shooting of their friends and teachers a few years ago (That incident is especially memorable for me because my aunt lives in Sandy Hook and her grandson, now grown, attended that elementary school as a child.).

Milo’s job is to make people feel relaxed and happier. And he’s very good at it. How wonderful to have a job where you always make people feel better. This world needs more therapy dogs.



MAY 17, 2016
Ala Moana Hotel

Mental Health America of Hawai'i is holding its 11th Annual Mental Health Mahalo Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the Ala Moana Hotel, 410 Atkinson Dr., Honolulu, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. SAVE THE DATE!

The event will celebrate our community leaders, agencies, and companies that have dedicated themselves to promoting mental wellness and improving the care of people with mental health problems through positive and innovative programs and leadership.

It is important to recognize the long years of commitment so many have given to the mental health of our community.

Awards will be given in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Community Mental Health Leader: An individual OR community organization that has enhanced services to the mental health community through initiating groundbreaking programs and being an effective advocate.
  • Outstanding Government Leader: A government employee OR governmental agency that has developed groundbreaking programs and/or spearheaded public policies that address mental illness.
  • Outstanding Adult Mental Health Consumer Advocate: A person who has experienced mental illness and is a strong representative and advocate for improving mental health treatment and services and reducing stigma.
  • Outstanding Youth Mental Health Consumer Advocate: A young person (24 years and under) who has experienced mental illness and is a strong advocate for improving mental health treatment and services and reducing stigma.
  • Outstanding Business: A company that provides innovative workplace programs to support employees' mental wellness and/or that hires people who have serious mental illness.
  • Outstanding Family Advocate: A person who has a family member with severe mental illness and who acts as a strong advocate for family members and people with mental illness.

Nominations for these awards are being accepted via email only. Request a nomination form from Marya Grambs: info@mentalhealth-hi.org. For more information contact the MHA HI office at (808) 521-1846. The deadline for nominations is February 5, 2016.


We are proud of our Community Support Days – a program where, a few times a year, we give 5% of the day’s sales to a local nonprofit. Thanks to the enthusiasm and participation of our customers, this program generates substantial funds for community organizations.

Our store leadership collectively votes to select each 5% day recipient; however, organizations may be nominated by anyone – by customers, store team members, or by the organizations themselves.

If you would like to nominate an organization, please email sp.kao.marketing at wholefoods.com - tell us the name of the organization, and why you think they deserve to be selected.

If you represent a nonprofit organization and would like to be considered, please send an email to sp.kao.marketing at wholefoods.comwith the following information:

  • Name & address of organization
  • Your name & contact information, and your affiliation with the organization
  • A brief history of the organization

Along with answers to the following questions:
  • Is there a specific project, event or use for which the Community Support Day (CSD) contribution will be used?
  • How many members does your organization have? How large is your e-mail list?
  • How would you publicize the event to your members and to the public?
  • Tell us about other fundraising events your organization has held. Which were the most successful? What made it so successful?
  • From what other sources do you receive major funding?
  • We encourage the benefiting organization to be visible in the store prior to and on the day of the event. How would you take advantage of this opportunity? How many member or staff will be available during business hours to participate?
  • Is there a time of year when your organization would best support a CSD? Is there a time of year when your organization would not be able to adequately support a CSD

Please attach a copy of your 501(c)3 Determination Letter from the IRS which verifies your status as a non-profit organization, as well as any additional brochures and relevant information. An incomplete application will not be considered. A completed application is not an agreement to honor your request.

This information is for the Kailua, Oahu store only. If you are interested in 5% programs in other areas, please contact your local store directly. Mahalo!



This three‐hour workshop will prepare you to recognize and support a person with thoughts of suicide. You will become a “safeTALK‐trained suicide alert helper,” which will allow you to move beyond the common tendency to dismiss or avoid talking about suicide.

This training will provide instruction in how to properly connect a person with thoughts of suicide to first aid and intervention caregivers.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(registration from 12:30 p.m.)
Department of Health Offices
(Pearl City area)
2201 Waimano Home Road
Hale F Conference Room
Pearl City, Hawai‘i, 96782

Online Registration


This TWO‐DAY workshop will equip participants to respond knowledgeably and competently to persons at risk of suicide. Participants learn and practice skills in identifying and responding to people at immediate risk of suicide. Just as “CPR” skills make physical first aid possible, training in suicide intervention develops the skills used in suicide first aid. This is a highly interactive workshop that will give you the training that you need in order to be a care‐giving resource within your community.

Thursday, March 3rd AND Friday, March 4th, 2016 7:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on BOTH DAYS at Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Center’s Honolulu Unit (1300‐A Halona Street, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, 96817)




Hawaii Youth Services Network will continue to advocate for laws and resources which enable Hawaii’s youth to grow up safe, healthy, and ready to succeed.

Issues that HYSN is concerned with this year include:

  • Homelessness among youth – especially funding for outreach to unaccompanied youth (those disconnected from their families).
  • Safe Places for Youth Network – This bill is carryover from 2015 and is currently in conference committee, so don’t expect much action until late in the session.
  • Making Children and Youth Month events (Children and Youth Day, Children and Youth Summit, Outstanding Advocate for Children and Youth Awards) official state events – Designed to address the issues raised by the State Ethics Commissioner that caused the cancellation of Children and Youth Day this past year.
  • Bullying – Bullying prevention has been a top priority at the Children and Youth Summit at the Capitol for 8 years in a row.
  • After school programs – We’d like to see more after-school opportunities for middle schoolers.
  • Child sexual abuse prevention education – So that children understand what it is and how to report it to a trusted adult.
  • HPV vaccine – HYSN believes in preventive health care. Untreated HPV can lead to infertility and other health issues.

We are not expecting a lot of action on foster care or juvenile justice this year, but will be watching.

If you would like to receive a complete list of the bills and resolutions that HYSN is tracking as well as occasional alerts and updates on bills and resolutions related to these topics, please send e-mail to jclark@hysn.org.


HYSN moved its office space in late December and we arfe now located in Suite 904 at the same address - 677 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu 96813.

And, we have a new phone number as well: (808)489-9549. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Please change our address and phone number in your records and stop by and see our new "digs".