Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (GBHWC), Guam's Single State Agency for Mental Health and Substance Use, seeks funding to support the expansion and sustainability of comprehensive community mental health services. "Project Guam's System of Care (GSOC)," proposes to serve approximately 800 children and youth ages 0-21, at-risk for, or experiencing Serious Emotional Disturbances and their families.
Guam received its first child mental health initiative grant between 2002-2008, which established the System of Care (SOC) "I Famagu'on-ta" (Our Children). Between 2013-2018, GBHWC began efforts to expand this SOC island-wide through the comprehensive, community-defined GSOC Expansion Strategic Plan. Although Guam has made significant strides in sustaining a few components of the 2013 strategic plan, including evidence-based and culturally appropriate outpatient, residential, and inpatient behavioral health services, the island has experiences amplified and newly emerged needs of children and families. During the pandemic, GBHWC served over 2,800 children and youth and although significant, prevalence data shows there are more children and youth on Guam that need to be served.
GBHWC aims to overcome "project" mentality by focusing on "systems change" with an overall goal of achieving quality access through collaborative partnerships, in order to effectively address the concerns and needs of Guam's children, youth and families. Project GSOC proposes to accomplish this through the following three goals: 1)Increase access to treatment and support services for the target population through a 24-hour Emergency Crisis Intervention Services (Mobile Response and Stabilization Services and Crisis Intake); 2) Revive and improve connections between social support systems, community providers, and families to address challenges in the provision of support services for children, youth, and families utilizing consumer voice as the driver for decision making; 3) Address service gaps across the continuum of care with enhance services that focuses on consumer voice, multi-system stakeholder involvement, and special population services needs.