I Ola Lāhui is a 501(c)(3) Hawai‘i nonprofit corporation founded in 2007. I Ola Lāhui was developed in response to the urgent needs of Native Hawaiian and rural communities for behavioral health services. We provide effective, culturally-minded psychology services for chronic diseases such as diabetes and more traditional mental health needs such as anxiety, depression, and trauma, while increasing the number of trained psychologists available to work with Native Hawaiian and rural communities.
I Ola Lāhui has 4 branches of service: 1) Training, where we prepare pre- and post- doctoral psychologists for future service in communities; 2) Health Services, including behavioral health, chronic disease management, nutrition and weight management services; 3) Research and Evaluation, with a focus on needs assessment, treatment effectiveness and outcome evaluation with our communities, and 4) Consulting and Advocacy, where we seek opportunities for partnership and collaboration that lead to policy and social change.
For over a decade, IOL has built and maintained a training pipeline for psychologists to address the behavioral health shortage in rural and underserved communities in Hawai‘i. The effort has been extremely successful, increasing the number of trained psychologists working in rural and underserved communities. Our graduates currently serve on 6 islands, many in places that lacked stable behavioral health services before their arrival.
I Ola Lāhui has partnered with organizations across 6 different islands in Hawai`i, closing the gap between the needs of communities and access to mental health services. Since I Ola Lāhui was founded in 2007, it has demonstrated consistent success and growth by partnering with over 20 different community health clinics and eldercare service facilities, and providing patient education, staff training, consultation, and public outreach. We continue to provide behavioral health services in many medically underserved communities in Hawai`i (e.g., Molokai, Hilo, Waimānalo, Leeward, and North Shore districts on O‘ahu). Our psychology trainees have served thousands of patients, meeting both the immediate need for services as well as the long-term need for more psychologists trained to work in rural and underserved communities in Hawai‘i.
I ola lāhui expresses our intent to improve the health and well being of our people. It means, “So that the people will live and thrive.” The I Ola Lāhui mission is to provide culturally-minded, evidence-based behavioral health care that is responsive to the needs of medically underserved, predominantly Native Hawaiian, and rural communities.
Although we, as an organization, aspire to have a big impact upon the health and well being of Native Hawaiians and other medically underserved groups, our mission is simple and based soundly in a real desire to improve the lives of the people in our islands.