Caring for a child with a mental illness can be extremely time-consuming and challenging for parents, especially in Hawai’i, where there is a shortage of mental health care providers. In addition, parents may not feel comfortable speaking openly about their child’s mental illness, and they may not know where to find help for their child or support for themselves. For these reasons, a need exists to provide readily accessible resources for parents in Hawai‘i who care for children with mental illness. To address this need, an online instructional resource named Mana‘olana was designed and developed. The online instructional resource includes four main components: information about service providers for psychological testing, information about service providers for children with a mental health diagnosis, parental support, and informational resources. The final version of the website was created using Wix.com, a free online site for designing websites.
As part of the instructional design process, a usability study was conducted to evaluate the website’s ease of navigation and the ability of users to locate pertinent and relevant information. In total, nine (n = 9) participants completed the study. These participants were asked to interact with the website by completing six tasks, as well as give feedback on the website’s organization and visual aesthetic. Preliminary results from the study suggest the online instructional resource is informative, useful, and relevant for parents and caregivers of children with mental illness in Hawai‘i. This presentation will summarize the usability study’s methods and results, as well as highlight key aspects of the latest version of the website.
Mana‘olana.info is considered public domain and can be shared with parent support groups, school administrators and counselors, and mental health care providers throughout the state of Hawai`i.