GBHWC hosting May events for Mental Health Awareness Month

The exterior of Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center in Tamuning. PNC file photo

Every year, May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month to remind everyone that they’re not alone and that their mental health matters.

This month is the time to raise awareness of the matter and to reduce the stigma surrounding behavioral health issues and its effect on people and the community.

“We invite the community, the people of Guam, to join us as we celebrate and bring awareness to the importance of mental health,” Theresa Arriola, director of Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center. “We need to manage our behavioral health as well as services that are eligible for people who are struggling with substance abuse.”

Throughout May, GBHWC has a line up of various activities open to the public.

GBHWC activities include a month-long EQ Webinar, a proclamation signing, a fair, safe talk, just to name a few.

“This Sunday we invite the people of Guam and the community to the Micronesia Mall from 10 to 2 p.m.,” Arriola said. “We’re gonna have a Guam Behavioral Health wellness fair, outreach with a lot of our partners and stakeholders will be there. We invite the people to come on down to see what we’re all about, see the services we provide as well as the services that our partners in the community are able to provide when you’re seeking help.”

On top of Mental Health Awareness month, she reminds the community of the 988 number to call whenever an individual needs help because it is important for people to know that they are never alone and help will always be available to you.

“988 has been the conduit of services and its been our life line especially during the years of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Arriola told the Pacific News Center. “You know nationwide it was an initiative that all the states and territories had to uplift and Guam had it up and running.”

With an average of 800 calls a month through the 988 number, GBHWC reminds the public that the public mental health agency is open 24 hours a day. The community can contact the 988 hotline for further assistance not only to have someone to speak to but for appointments and other access to services the center provides.

For more information, follow GBHWC on social media @gbhwcguam.