The Crisis Hotline (CHL) project, comprised of 1 full-time staff and coverage provided by staff of the Adult Inpatient Unit, started as an information help line for Desert Storm and from this tumult was recognized a need for a 24-hour telephone "counseling" service to the island community. Under the umbrella of the Volunteers are Important People (VIP), out of the Governor's Office, the Crisis Hotline started its operations at 6:00pm, January 17, 1991. In 1995, the CHL was integrated into the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, Clinical Services Division.
The purpose of the Crisis Hotline is to assist individuals experiencing crisis situations, through staff and volunteers having undergone comprehensive training in crisis intervention, and a strong networking system with other governmental agencies and private organizations.
Approximately 320 calls come through the Crisis Hotline every month. The spectrum of crisis calls range from a youngster needing help with his homework to suicide. The most prevalent calls are relationship problems, most of which are compounded by depression.
The Crisis Hotline has as a strong networking system with agencies such as VARO (Victims Advocate Reaching Out), a private, non-profit organization helping abused spouses and/or children; Alee Shelter, a safe refuge for victims of domestic violence; Guam Police Department (GPD); Guam Fire Department (GFD); Civil Defense; Child Protective Services (CPS); Adult Protective Services (APS); and Adult Outpatient Services. GBHWC staff, as a collateral duty, currently provides supportive resources to the hotline.