Hagåtña, Guam – The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration announces the launch of a mental health initiative designed to engage emotional support volunteers with island residents diagnosed with COVID-19. The Håfa Tatamanu Hao Community Wellness Check Program is led by the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (GBHWC) in collaboration with the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) and Guam Association of Individual, Marriage, and Family Therapists (AIMFT). The program will remain active from July to September 2022.
“Our people have come a long way in prioritizing their health, and through the Håfa Tatamanu Hao Program, we extend our efforts to help those struggling with mental and emotional hardship,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “A lesson we continue to learn during this pandemic is that mental health is truly essential to overall health and wellness. Our Administration is committed to providing the resources for our people to heal holistically.”
“We have monitored an increase in calls to our local and national crisis hotlines, but we realize there are those in our community who may still feel måmåhlao or ashamed to reach out for help,” said Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio. “A simple wellness check phone call from our program staff can make a positive difference for anyone during these challenging times. We are thankful for the collaborative efforts of GBHWC, DPHSS, and AIMFT in creating this important lifeline.”
“As part of the first-responder team from the Government of Guam, we saw at GBHWC the pandemic’s emotional impact on people. Having to be isolated, worrying about whether they’ve passed on the virus to their loved ones, especially their vulnerable parents or young children, missing work or having to identify alternative means to take care of their family – these take a toll on our ability to recover and feel well,” said GBHWC Director Theresa Arriola.
The Håfa Tatamanu Hao Community Wellness Check Program is composed of members and volunteers from the Guam AIMFT. Program staff will call positive COVID-19 individuals in isolation to check on their well being, offer emotional support, ensure their safety and make referrals for further GBHWC services. Individuals will need to provide consent to the program through the DPHSS case investigation team, who will get in touch with them about their positive test result. The program is funded under the GBHWC Prevention and Training Branch.
For more information and inquiries, contact GBHWC at 671-647-1901. Those struggling with thoughts of suicide or feelings of anxiety, stress or depression, substance misuse issues, or other behavioral health crises should contact the GBHWC Crisis Hotline at 671-647-8833/34.