Two new employees, psychologist Mich Suyama, and clinical counselor Kaeokalei Alo, have joined BYU–Hawaii's Counseling Services to start the new school year.
This addition of counselors aligns with a national trend of increased demand for mental health resources and behavioral support at schools and universities. With these additions, Counseling Services will have five full-time and three part-time professional counseling staff for the Fall 2023 Semester. The International Accreditation for Counseling Services recommends one full-time staff member for every 1,500 students. BYU–Hawaii will have one professional staff member for every 440 students.
"We recognize the importance of mental health and are grateful the university was able to obtain support to hire two new counselors," said Kala Kau, student life vice president. "Mich Suyama and Kaeo Alo are a welcome addition to Counseling Services. Along with the other staff, they are highly qualified in their fields and bring valuable professional experience and cultural understanding to their work. We are pleased to have increased capacity to promote the mental and emotional well-being of our students."
Alo and Suyama have worked with individuals, couples, and families, as well as group therapy for a wide range of ages. Alo has worked as a clinical therapist in Utah at Heritage Schools, Greenhouse Center for Growth and Learning, and at his own private practice. Suymana has a wide range of counseling experience, from being a child outpatient therapist to working at family clinics to administering psychological assessments at a private practice to providing psychotherapy services to children and adults.
Alo and Suyama are both connected to BYU–Hawaii, Oceania, and the Asian Rim. Suyama worked as a psychology extern at BYU–Hawaii in 2010 and, most recently, as a licensed clinical pediatric psychologist in Japan. Alo is a Kahuku Red Raider and son of Dede and the late Stanford Alo of Hauula.
Students can make an appointment for individual or group therapy at counseling.byuh.edu. Counseling Services also offers self-help materials, mental health screenings, and web-based therapy through Therapy Assistance Online or TAO.