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.