Services available to those with mental issues

GBHWC director Therese Arriola (PNC photo)

Guam – May is mental health awareness month and the mind matters! Getting help is equally important, as some individuals suffering from mental health issues can find themselves without a roof over their head or a home to call their own.

What services are available to those who are suffering from mental health issues and homeless? This concern was raised after a picture on social media of a man half-dressed loitering at a bus stop sparked outrage in the community last week.

“In referencing the news story about the Santa Rita gentleman sitting in the bus top that seems to have emotional or mental health disturbance, the right thing for the community to have done is call GPD and we are partners with GPD and they are aware that we have 24-hour services and they can bring the individual to GBHWC, whether it’s the weekend or the evenings and have an assessment done to see if this person is an adult with a serious mental illness,” Therese Arriola, Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center director said.

Once a report is made to GPD what happens next? Will the individual be locked up or treated?

“One place they can go to is definitely behavioral health – to be immediately assessed,” Arriola said.

Arriola said GBHWC has an adult-in patient unit which services individuals with mental health issues.

She said the individual’s emotional state of mind will determine whether or not they are admitted and will also determine what services are available to them.

“Like DISID, if they are disabled, if they are seen with serious mental illness, then it is already a disability and we will work with DISID. We will immediately work with the Guam Homeless Coalition, with GHURA, and with all the services that are out there,” Arriola said.

Read more:

Social media photo raises concerns among Santa Rita residents

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Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.