With mental health and financial crises affecting students nationwide, there is an ever growing need for strong student support systems. Kauaʻi Community College’s Hale Mālama Care Center is responding to that need by providing free mental health, human needs and community resource assistance to students.
“Our Hale Mālama team connects with our students through program services built on trust, reciprocity and a strengthened sense of belonging to overcome barriers that can hinder achieving their education goals,” said Kauaʻi CC Interim Chancellor Margaret Sanchez.
Hale Mālama was established in 2019 through a Title III grant with a mission to improve the health, safety, overall well-being and quality of life for all Kauaʻi CC students. In addition to financial and mental health needs, access to food, child support and technology are some of the barriers and challenges that Hale Mālama works to address on campus.
The center is supported by the Friends of KCC and has partnered with organizations such as the Hawaiʻi Foodbank Kauaʻi branch, Aloha Diaper Bank and Hale ʻŌpio. It is also supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Kauaʻi Community Fund Award and federal grants. With support from these grants and partner organizations, Hale Mālama is able to provide students a range of offerings including individual therapy, feminine hygiene products, emergency aid, child care assistance, school supplies and more.
“I received individual therapy services through Hale Mālama, and my therapy sessions greatly improved my mental well-being,” said a Kauaʻi CC student. “Thanks to my counselor and the therapy services provided by Hale Mālama, I know how to manage my thoughts and emotions, and I am a much happier person because of them.”