Arriola wants more outreach and awareness for Guam Behavioral He - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Arriola wants more outreach and awareness for Guam Behavioral Health

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Therese Arriola said her longtime role as Sanctuary executive director laid the foundation to head the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.

"How I see it is GBH is the big brother of Sanctuary," she said. "Now instead of my focusing just on youth, I'm now focused on everyone."

Arriola is eager to get to work as the agency's new director. And she hit the ground running. She was part of the government transition team, which gave her a head-start into understanding the priorities of this administration.

"GBH received their accreditation from CARF in 2017, we're up for reaccreditation in 2020," she said. "That's one of my main goals, one of my mandates from my bosses to make sure we keep our accreditation."

Securing accreditation seems to be a major goal across health departments. It's among other concerns that deal with addressing statistics that plague our community.

"We have the highest rate of suicide in the nation it's very alarming," Arriola said. "One of the plans is to just have greater awareness, and more outreach and more education. But part of that is also letting people know that you need help, you need counseling. We're available. So the increasing in the number of counselors is a big issue."

Arriola's wish list also includes plans to reopen the drug and alcohol intensive in-patient unit that was closed several years ago.
Sufficient funding a shared priority needed to make that wish a reality.

"One of the things I'm going to be looking into is to implement fully the fee schedule," she said. "It's Important because sustainability we can't keep depending on the general fund just keep giving and giving, without doing our part in ensuring that those that are billed are billed and those who can pay should pay."

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