Keiki heros give important message: mental health matters

HONOLULU (KHON2) — YMCAs across the nation implemented a new program that would stress the importance of mental health for youth and teens.

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Superheroes such as Superman, Captain America and Batman took a trip to the State Capitol to educate lawmakers on the “Heroic Journey” program.

The program uses fictional characters to help children navigate through peer pressure and bullying prevention.

Marvel, Disney, and Star Wars characters were used in the 32-lesson curriculum to help children navigate through peer pressure and bullying prevention, as well as teach social-emotional learning.

On Friday, YMCA representatives dressed up as various superheroes to share details on “YMCA mental health legislative bill initiatives and grant-in-aid requests.”

“It makes it very relatable, it makes it a joyous thing and you don’t need to have superhero powers,” said YMCA Honolulu CEO Greg Waibel. “All of us have the power to make changes in our lives to be better with our mental health.”

In this program, youth are educated on various mental wellness topics such as multicultural identity, how to seek help, self-compassion, and more.

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The goal is to expand the program to school break day camps and summer programs as well.

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