STAND. COM. REP. NO. 838

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 193

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 193 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE COMPOSITION OF THE STATE COUNCIL ON MENTAL HEALTH,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to require at least three members of the State Council on Mental Health to have demonstrated knowledge or experience with Native Hawaiian concepts of well-being, mental health, or healing practices.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services, Department of Health, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, AlohaCare, Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development, Early Childhood Action Strategy, Hawaii Public Health Association, Papa Ola Lōkahi, Kokua Kalihi Valley, Alii Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Aha Kāne Foundation for the Advancement of Native Hawaiian Males, Kuaāina Ulu Auamo, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Hawaii Public Health Institute, Waimānalo Pono Research Hui, eighty-one individuals, and a form letter signed by eight individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from one individual.

 

Your Committees find that Native Hawaiians are disproportionately impacted by mental health concerns, the repercussions of which can have a deleterious effect on affected individuals, their families, and the community. Mental health disparities between Native Hawaiians and other ethnic groups in the State start early, with Native Hawaiian children over-represented as victims of abuse and neglect, over-represented in youth suicide attempts and deaths, and with Native Hawaiian youth maintaining some of the highest rates of drug use in the State.

 

Your Committees further find that Native Hawaiians tend to underutilize existing mental health services, seek therapy only after their illness has become severe, or leave treatment prematurely. Cultural incongruence with western mental health approaches may be a driving factor in Native Hawaiians' underutilization of mental health services, as experts note that clients are more likely to seek out and use mental health services when their values and beliefs align with the interventions provided. Your Committees also find that including individuals with expertise or experience in Native Hawaiian health and healing values on the State Council on Mental Health will help promote programs and services that can effectively target the Native Hawaiian community's mental-health associated disparities.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Hawaiian Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 193 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Hawaiian Affairs,

 

________________________________

MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair

 

________________________________

ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair