Hawaii Health Department launches new online tool to track swath of health metrics

Alonzo Osche

The Hawaii Department of Health has launched a new dashboard to track behavioral health in the state, with statistics on substance use, homelessness and mental health. The department developed the new data dashboard in partnership with the University of Hawaii at Manoa Center on Aging, Pacific Health Analytics Collaborative, and […]

The Hawaii Department of Health has launched a new dashboard to track behavioral health in the state, with statistics on substance use, homelessness and mental health.

The department developed the new data dashboard in partnership with the University of Hawaii at Manoa Center on Aging, Pacific Health Analytics Collaborative, and expects to help track the state’s progress in improving its care and services in each of these three areas.

“This new resource is a ‘one-stop shop’ for anyone needing information on behavioral health in the state,” said Victoria Fan, interim director of the Center on Aging, in a news release. “The dashboard relies on our partnership with DOH and our talented UH students who learn and apply data, science and health analytic skills for the community good.”

More than 10 data sources are available, including national and state-specific statistics via an interactive map.

For example, visitors can view how substance use in Hawaii compares to national indicators, explore statistics on inpatient stays and drug prescriptions, and review homelessness numbers and mental health emergency calls for specific islands.

“Behavioral health — including substance use, mental health and homelessness — is a significant public health challenge in our state,” said Eddie Mersereau, deputy director of the DOH Behavioral Health Administration in the release. “The data confirms that access to these services is even more crucial during the pandemic.”

The dashboard also offers data on Hawaii CARES, the state’s 24/7 helpline offering crisis support and referrals to treatment for mental health, substance use, and COVID-19 isolation and quarantine services.

In 2020, Hawaii CARES fielded more than 130,000 calls — a 50% increase in call volume over 2019. Between August and September 2020, Hawaii CARES answered 29,800 calls for help, its highest number ever, when the state was experiencing a large spike of COVID-19 cases.

Hawaii CARES offers 24/7 help for crisis support, treatment and recovery as well as COVID-19 isolation and quarantine services. Ton contact Hawaii CARES, call 832-3100 on Oahu or 1-800-753-6879 toll-free.

View the new dashboard at hawaii.edu/aging/hbhd.

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