Governor Josh Green, Tia Hartsock, Erin Henderson Lacerdo, and Kerrie Urosevich

Thanks to Alice Luck, Commit to Keiki steering committee member and coordinator of Keiki to Career, on June 8, Commit to Keiki had the honor of attending Ola Pono O Kaua‘i, a mental health and wellness conference, at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall. The conference took place over two days and featured insightful presentations by Governor Josh Green and other mental health industry experts, including Tia Hartsock, Hawai‘i’s first director of the newly formed Office of Wellness and Resilience, and Erin Henderson Lacerdo, executive director of the Association for Infant Mental Health. Topics of discussion included the state’s efforts to address wellness and resilience, and the importance of early childhood mental health.

According to Governor Green, Hawai‘i is on track to become a “trauma-informed state” to better serve families and improve community health and wellness outcomes. During the conference, he highlighted his two areas of focus, which include harm reduction in the health space and housing as a public health solution.

“My focus is to deal with those who are most struggling. The goal is to decrease their costs, make their suffering go down to harm reduction, and increase our investment in all the other things that we need. That’s how the situation gets better,” said Governor Green. And Commit to Keiki agrees.

Ola Pono O Kaua‘i was presented by the Kaua‘i Rural Health Association in partnership with the County of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i State Department of Health, Kaua‘i Planning and Action Alliance, Kaua‘i Resilience Project, and Keiki to Career. A special mahalo to Alice Luck for organizing this event and inviting us to be a part of it!