WHY WE EXIST
“Health, that optimal state of physical, mental, social and environmental well-being, is a right and responsibility of all of Hawaiʻi’s people.” This philosophy of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health inspires all of us in the healthcare industry to improve the quality of care we deliver our residents and our communities. We must work together to assure health care is affordable, appropriate, of assured quality, available and accessible.
Hawaiʻi CARES fulfills these goals in the areas of mental and behavioral health through its coordinated, responsive system that provides clinically-appropriate treatment and recovery services statewide.
Who We Are
Hawaiʻi CARES is a partnership between the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health Behavioral Health Administration, the University of Hawai’i School of Social Work and XX healthcare organizations across every island.
With a team of 25 qualified clinical staff, crisis call center staff, graduate assistants, directors and administrators, CARES, an acronym for the Coordinated Access Resource Entry System, offers every caller our experience and, more importantly, our compassion. From associate’s to bachelor’s to master’s to doctorate degrees, we’re a team of experienced professionals and exceptional listeners. We’re local people just like you who specialize in providing supportive counseling, screening for urgent or emergent mental health or substance use needs, recommendations for behavioral health assessments and services and crisis intervention.
How We Help
Our CARES counselors get to know our callers and, based on conversations, recommend and connect callers with the right providers in our statewide network, ensuring access to all the services needed for personalized resolution or recovery. We stay in touch with our callers and providers throughout the duration of treatment, providing continual care. Read more about how we help.
By managing the relationships and electronic records for our callers, we operate as 1) the universal intake and screening entity; 2) the authorizing agent; 3) the system of quality assurance.
Furthermore, through the collection of real-time data and the review of service requests, CARES enhances the effectiveness of the screening, referral and treatment of mental and behavioral health, continuously improving the quality of care and services delivered by our network.
Hawaiʻi CARES combines two former statewide services: the ACCESS Line and the Crisis Line of Hawaiʻi. Launched 2002, the ACCESS Line provided phone counseling and support to residents in crisis as well information on mental and behavioral health services.
In 2015, ACCESS was renamed Crisis Line of Hawaiʻi and expanded to support residents 24/7. In 2019, the CARES line opened with a primary focus on substance use.
Hawaiʻi CARES is a connecting resource, not a stopping place. Your journey to better health begins with a phone call.