Hale Malama Care Center



Pono Check-Up

TIP OF THE WEEK by Brian Kohatsu 

“We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.” (Helen Keller)

The journey of life is filled with different things that can sometimes weigh us down or make us question the path we are on.  This can be especially true in terms of our academic journey and what the future holds given the times we are in.  Remaining steadfast to our passions allows us to reach our goals.  So stick with it!   There is a light at the end of the tunnel!


Hale Malama is dedicated to the health, safety, overall well-being, and quality of life for all students at Kaua'i Community College.  We believe students who are able to uncover their voice, discover their purpose, and recover their individual truth will not only take their place in society as strong and resilient individuals but will also have the academic passion to create positive change.

We are sensitive to students of "all" diverse needs and we provide counseling for individuals, couples, and groups.
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We are currently offering services by phone or via Zoom.  Due to the current situation, I am working from home and am available via phone or email.  Please let me know if I can assist you in anyway.


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The HINET Hoola Ike program provides assistance to students in applying for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits through a partnership with the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services.

Our HINET office delivers assistance and support to students enrolled at Kaua'i Community College. HINET participants are eligible to receive a number of benefits including books and transportation- mileage or bus pass reimbursements. HINET Hoola Ike is a statewide community college program designed to help remove barriers and provide students with access to education and skills training opportunities so they can earn a living wage and achieve financial independence.

Counseling is a confidential process designed to help you address your concerns, come to a greater understanding of yourself, and learn effective personal and interpersonal coping strategies. It involves a relationship between you and a trained counselor or licensed therapist who has the desire and willingness to help you accomplish your individual goals. Counseling involves sharing sensitive, personal, and private information that may at times be distressing. During the course of counseling, there may be periods of increased anxiety or confusion. The outcome of counseling is often positive; however, the level of satisfaction for any individual is not predictable. Your therapist is available to support you throughout the counseling process.

Hale Malama counseling, therapy, and related services are available to all Kaua'i Community College (Kaua'i CC) students who are officially enrolled at the time they seek  Hale Malama services.  You may become ineligible for services if not re-enrolled.  In those cases, we will provide you with community resources for continuity of care.

We offer a variety of counseling services to students including: intake interviews, brief solution-focused therapy, mental health assessments, diagnosis, psychotherapy (aka: talk therapy), crisis intervention, group counseling, educational workshops, alternative treatment modalities and referral(s) as deemed appropriate.  During the initial Intake Interview, the counselor will work with you to determine what your needs are and how best to serve them.

We want to be of support.  We want to meet you wherever you are in your desire for change.  We’ll do our best to support you or help you navigate through referral(s) to community support as appropriate.  It is best-practice to refer to community resources or your healthcare behavioral therapists and programs for severe mood disorders and personality disorders.

  • Initial Interview - Our first session will involve a brief evaluation of your presenting situation and a review of your desired outcome.  By the end of that initial session, your counselor may be able to offer you some concrete tips on how to improve your functioning and recommendations for your possible next steps. Your counselor will be able to offer impressions of what your next steps may include and a treatment plan to follow.  You should evaluate this information along with your own opinions of whether you feel comfortable working with that counselor and the developed plan.  If you have any questions about what is recommended, please discuss them with your counselor.  Counseling support and improved student success require an active effort on your part.  In order for counseling services to be most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about during sessions and at home between sessions.  
  • Evaluation and Short-term Therapy - If you require assistance beyond 2-3 sessions you will be asked to complete a more thorough psychological and social assessment (psycho-social assessment).  In general, students have 12 sessions per academic year.   In some cases, together you and your counselor may determine that a referral is most appropriate.  Referrals may include a University of Hawai`i system mental health or counseling center, your healthcare provider or a community resource. 
  • Groupwork, Classes and Wellness Activities - In many instances, you may find it beneficial to your mental and emotional wellness to attend psycho-educational classes or activities.  These are ways that can help you create new self-care habits or develop new coping skills and improved support systems.  Be aware of on and off-campus wellness activities that you can start attending or doing that has positive effects on your overall well-being.

All students start with an intake (initial) interview with one of our staff counselors.  Your counselor will create a plan with you which may include homework, follow-up sessions, or referral to a community resource.  Sessions are 45 minutes.  Generally, if students show progress and commitment to improving their situation through counseling, they may be seen up to 12 sessions in an academic year.

There is no fee for counseling services. If you are referred off-campus to health, mental health, or substance abuse professionals you are responsible for their charges.

Counselors are often not immediately available by telephone or as a walk-in basis.  Office hours vary but are usually between 8 am to 4 pm on weekdays, except school holidays.  We will probably not answer the phone when with a student. You may leave a phone message or email your Hale Malama Program counselor as to the nature of your correspondence.  If you need immediate mental or emotional assistance, you may call the ACCESS line at 1-800-753-6879.  If it is an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.  If you are calling for a school-related concern, you may also find assistance from your Academic Advisor or the Student Affairs Vice Chancellor’s office 808-245-8274.

One of your most important student rights involves confidentiality.  Conversations between Hale Malama Program counselors and their students are kept strictly confidential, which means that information from counseling interviews and sessions may not be released to anyone outside of the program without your written permission. Hale Malama Program session records including content or progress are not included in any academic, educational, or job placement file. Hale Malama Program counselors maintain confidentiality in accordance with the ethical guidelines and legal requirements of their profession.  Scheduling of or attendance at appointments may be a part of your confidential student record which is protected by FERPA.  

Effective counseling sometimes requires that KCC employees share confidential information with other employees.  The Hale Malama Program professional’s work as a team. Your therapist may consult with other counseling staff to provide the best possible care. These consultations are for professional and training purposes.  

In some instances, you may choose to have limited information shared with other KCC faculty or staff to support your success as a student.  You will be asked to complete a Release of Information form as part of your intake to clarify your preference for the limits of confidentiality and your student success.  All student records and student information is protected under FERPA.

There are a few circumstances that a counselor may need to break confidentiality in a limited way:

  • Serious concerns of possible suicide.
  • Student’s threat of harm to another party.
  • Child, Adult, Domestic and Elder Abuse (as per Mandatory State Law)
  • Student signs a release form allowing communications with another party. 

The laws and standards of the counseling profession require that treatment records be kept.  Your records are stored in a secured electronic drive and includes information you provided and information about interactions (phone calls, emails, individual/group counseling, consultation, etc.) with your counselor and program staff. This information is only accessible within the Hale Malama Program and is protected to ensure confidentiality. Students may have access to these records by scheduling an appointment to review these documents with a counselor.  Because these are professional records, they can be misinterpreted and or upsetting to untrained readers.  If you wish to see your records, we recommend that you review them in the presence of your Hale Malama Program counselor so that you can together discuss the contents. Please allow adequate time to process requests for your treatment records.   These directives are to ensure that your privacy and confidentiality are maintained.

  • Personal Conduct - Everyone is expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner.  A session should not be held when anyone is under the influence of a nonprescription drug, including alcohol.  Violence (physical or verbal) is never acceptable.  Either behavior may result in discontinuing a session or, if necessary, calling the proper authorities.  Sexual relations between client and his/her therapist is against the law.  Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination are not permitted.
  • Attendance - We appreciate prompt arrival for appointments. Please notify us if you will be late.  If you are unable to attend, when possible, please provide us at least 24 hours advance notice. 
  • No Show (not calling to cancel your appointment) - To the extent possible, please change or cancel your appointment at least 24 hours ahead of the scheduled time. When 24-hour notice is not provided it takes away valuable appointment time from another student who may need it. If you no-show for 2 consecutive appointments, you may lose the privilege of seeing a counselor. In situations such as this, a referral will be provided to you for multiple community resources for continuity of care.

You have the right to ask questions about any procedure(s) used during therapy.  If you wish, your counselor will explain their approach and methods to you.

You have the right to decide not to receive therapeutic assistance from our program.  If you wish, your counselor will provide you with the name(s) of other qualified professionals whose services you might prefer.

You have the right to end counseling sessions at any time without any moral, legal obligations.  Please contact Hale Malama Care Center if you make such a decision without consulting with your counselor.

You have the right to file a complaint.  If you believe your privacy has been violated, you may file a complaint with the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs office in writing.