Hawaii Health Department’s crisis line available for Kilauea eruption victims
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Hawaii Health Department’s crisis line available for Kilauea eruption victims

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    Volunteer Jasmine Kupihea, facing camera, hugs a local resident affected by the lava flow at a makeshift donation center in Pahoa, Hawaii.

The Hawaii Department of Health reminds the public that its Crisis Line of Hawaii is available for residents, visitors and anyone affected by the Kilauea eruptions seeking help in coping with mental or emotional effects.

The Crisis Line of Hawaii is available, toll-free, at 1-800-753-6879, 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week, and is staffed with a team of live, local representatives who are professionals trained to help individuals in times of a mental health crisis.

People who have feelings of stress and anxiety can call the Crisis Line to receive short-term, confidential counseling as well as information on available resources.

“Taking steps early to ensure the mental health of you and your family during and after a tragic event can make a difference in the long run, especially when young children are involved,” said Mark Fridovich, administrator of DOH’s Adult Mental Health Division. “Disasters like the Kilauea lava flow are unexpected and often bring out strong emotions, which is understandable when people are forced out of their homes and into a state of fear and worry. This is why we offer resources like the Crisis Line and hope people take advantage of it during their times of need.”

In addition, The Parent Line is also available for informal counseling, information, and referrals for callers with concerns about their child’s behavior, or issues regarding family stress. The Parent Line is available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Parent Line is also toll-free. at 1-800-816-1222, with more information available at theparentline.org.

The state Health Department offers the following guidance during this difficult time:

>> Talk to your family members and friends to maintain a strong support system.

>> Children are particularly vulnerable, as they have trouble processing what is happening. Help your children by sharing age-appropriate information and being honest.

>> Set a good example for children by taking care of yourself.

>> Take breaks and unwind periodically and ask for help if you need it.

>> Stay informed of the situation by tuning in to local news sources, but avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of the event.

>> Visit the Adult Mental Health Division’s website for more resources.

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