‘Change Minds, Move Hearts!’

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Friendship House Executive Director Terry Ann Moses leads the group of Friendship House staff, members and friends out to Kuhio Highway in Kapa‘a for sign-waving on World Mental Health Day Friday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The group of Friendship House staff, members and friends make sure face masks are worn properly Friday before leaving to sign-wave on World Mental Health Day in Kapa‘a.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    About a dozen Friendship House staff, members and friends take time out of their Friday to sign-wave along Kuhio Highway in Kapa‘a to bring awareness of World Mental Health Day.

KAPA‘A — About a dozen Friendship House staff, members and friends took to Kuhio Highway fronting their Kapa‘a facility to remind motorists that today is World Mental Health Day as hosted by the World Health Organization.

“‘Change Minds. Move Hearts!’ is this year’s initiative,” said Debra Thompson, a Friendship House staff member.

“Our members and friends are promoting the collective power of the clubhouse, and we’re also calling on government to provide greater access to mental-health services so that anyone living with mental illness can have access to services such as the clubhouse model.”

The WHO website states that World Mental Health Day has the overall objective of raising awareness of mental-health issues around the world, and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

“Mental-health awareness is important, especially now with the COVID-19 health issue,” said Terry Ann Moses, executive director of Friendship House. “We need to be aware of mental-health issues in this new environment created by the novel coronavirus. Job loss, illnesses (other than the COVID-19), loss of income, all have an effect on people, making mental-health wellness important.”

The Child &Adolescent Mental Health Division of the state Department of Health is also monitoring the latest updates of COVID-19 and is preparing for any possibilities.

“Your health and safety are very important to us,” the CAMHD website states. “We plan to continue to serve you without a break in service while complying with the new Stay at Home/Work from Home orders.”

Moses said she sees the signs of stress on mental health while she’s driving around town.

“The most important thing is to de-stigmatize mental health,” she said. “More and more, there are people who show signs of needing help. Recently, there was a period where a rash of suicides took place. They’re not crazy. We need to let them know there is help, and with this help people get saved.”

The National Alliance on Mental Illness — yes, there is a chapter on Kaua‘i — states on its website, “if you have a mental illness, the pervasive climate of anxiety, stress and isolation may be especially harmful to your well-being.”

NAMI suggests several steps on its website, nami.org, to prevent the stressful time from derailing one’s mental health.

“We need to open our minds,” Moses said. “Save a life. It could be yours.”


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Bluedream October 10, 2020 12:58 pm Reply

    Very nice story. Important to bring awareness, especially during these bizzare economic shutdowns, except of course for McDonalds Costco and Kawakami family businesses. Thank you for not printing any more photos of KKK Biden supporters too!

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