The United States Virgin Islands (USVI)is a melting pot with its diverse people and rich culture. But like many other places, it too has its challenges. One of those challenges, is mental health and the limited resources available to those needing help. Currently, the Virgin Islands’ Department of Healthserves as the main government agency providing services to the Territory. According to their website, they provide programs for Behavioral Health, Alcoholism and Drug Dependency.
In September 2017, two category five hurricanes (Irma and Maria) struck the USVI, leaving destruction and devastation in their wake. Along with the physical damages to the islands, residents and visitors alike suffered emotional trauma and those effects linger on today. Some of those effects include anxiety attacks and panic attacks. It is important to note that the two types of disorders are not the same, which can be found in a Reddit post here. Mental Health America on their LinkedIn page says stress can do a lot of damage to the mind and body over time.
One organization working to make a difference in the USVI, particularly with children and their mental health, is Beautiful Dreamers. According to their website, the group provides educational and behavioral services, and they believe that every child has the right to dream and see those dreams materialize, despite environmental factors, special education labels or psychological diagnoses.
Berlina Wallace Berubeis co-director at Beautiful Dreamers, and she is a licensed mental health counselor who has served in both Education, and the Department of Health, most recently as the Territorial director for the department’s Behavioral Health, Alcoholism and Drug dependency division. Berube, along with Beautiful Dreamers director Dr. Vincentia Paul-Constantin, understand that the support provided to children will ultimately impact the community long-term in a positive way, and they are committed to making that difference.
For more information on Beautiful Dreamers and the services they provide, please contact them at 340-473-5146.