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Wednesday, December 07, 2022
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

RPC Meeting: Honolulu, Hawaii: Surfing the Policy Wave

Surfing the Policy Wave

Mark your calendars for the last Regional Policy Council meeting of the year: Wednesday, December 7, 2022, in Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Tapa Conference Center in Tapa Ballroom 1, Tapa Ballroom, Rainbow Dr, Honolulu, HI 96815 or virtually.

Note: All times are Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time. 

Join us for a wonderful day that will begin at 7:45 a.m. after our 7 a.m. breakfast honoring another group of 2022 Mental Health Legislative Champions.

From 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., we'll be Surfing the Policy Wave with a deep dive into our tentative agenda that will be updated until the RPC meeting:

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

7 - 7:45 a.m. HST

Legislative Breakfast Buffet

7:45 - 8 a.m.

Welcome & Opening Oli

  • Bryan Talisayan, Executive Director, Mental Health America of Hawaii
  • Dolly Tatofi, LCSW, Maternal Child Health Director, Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services

8 - 9 a.m.

Legislative Champions Awards: Honoring 2022 State Legislative Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Champions

  • Welcome Remarks with Joan Ballweg, Wisconsin State Senator

Congratulations to the following Legislative Champions Awardees:

  • Representative Jamie Zahlaway Belsito, MA
  • Senator Cleave Simpson, CO
  • Assemblymember Akilah Weber, CA
  • House Speaker Cameron Sexton, TN
  • Representative Tina Orwall, WA
  • Senator Manka Dhingra, WA
  • Representative Dontavius Jarrells, OH
  • Senator Stephanie Kunze, OH
  • Senator Karl Rhoads, HI

9 - 9:15 a.m.

Welcome Video by Mental Health America (MHA) President and CEO Schroeder Stribling

9:15 - 10 a.m.

Firearm Safety and Suicide Prevention

  • Jose Davila, Deputy Director of State Government Affairs, Everytown for Gun Safety

10 - 10:15 a.m.


10:15 - 11 a.m.

Youth Mental Health in Hawaii

  • Mestisa Gass, PsyD, Program Director, Mental Health America of Hawaii
  • Amanda Martinez, MPH, Training Program Manager, Mental Health America of Hawaii
  • Danielle Bergan, Maui Community Coordinator, Mental Health America of Hawaii

11 - 11:30 a.m.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

  • Laura Evans, Director National and State Policy, Vibrant Emotional Health

11:30 a.m. - noon

Employment for Youth with Mental Health Needs

  • Caitlin Hochul, Project Manager, State Exchange on Employment & Disability Mental Health Initiative (SEED)
  • Rachel McGreevy, State Outreach Advisor, State Exchange on Employment & Disability Mental Health Initiative (SEED)

Noon - 1 p.m.

Networking Lunch (provided)

1 - 1:40 p.m.

End of the 117th Congress Federal Policy Update and a Look Ahead

  • Mary Giliberti, Chief Public Policy Officer, MHA
  • Caren Howard, Director of Policy and Advocacy, MHA

1:40 - 2:20 p.m.

Work Force and Access Advocacy Opportunities in the States

  • MHA Regional Policy Council Representatives
    • Barbara Johnston, Mental Health Association in New Jersey
    • Ben Harrington, Mental Health Association of East Tennessee
    • Shannah Mulvihill, Mental Health Minnesota
    • Laura Evans, Vibrant Emotional Health

2:20 - 2:30 p.m.

Wrap Up

6 - 9 p.m.

MHA affiliates, staff, and board members will be invited to join an affiliate-only dinner


For more details contact Debbie Plotnick at or Janelle Gonzaga at