MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Marine and Family Programs announced the opening of its new center by hosting a community fair held March 27, 2014.
The Counseling, Advocacy, Awareness and Relationship Enhancement Center, located in building 216, is open for individual clients and families needing support. The newly named CAARE Center features all of their previously available free services, with some departments expanded to better respond to the public.
“If you’re stressed out in your job, if you’re having problems in your marriage, if your children are in need of support to build their self-esteem or if you have any other individual concerns, we’re here,” said Carletta Vicain, the behavioral health programs manager at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. “People come in as individuals or together as families.”
Lt. Col. Robert Maldonado, the commanding officer of Headquarters Battalion, was at the fair on behalf of all Marine Corps Base Hawaii units. After offering opening remarks, he signed several observances on behalf of several awareness months directly relating to the new CAARE Center programs.
During the fair, staffers offered free assistance and giveaways to attendees to promote the base’s behavioral health programs. The center’s new services include having dedicated managers for both the Family Advocacy and Community Counseling Programs, now expanded into two departments. Deborah Wagner, the new manager for the Family Advocacy Program, said her office helps anyone confronting abuse. The program provides support in emergencies with victim advocacy and free resources to build healthy relationships. These free resources include hosting anger management classes, marriage skills workshops and other personal development opportunities to learn good communication. Wagner said her office strives to assist in emergencies, but provides tools to help stop abuse beforehand.
“Prevention is the key,” she said. “We’re working to eradicate domestic and child abuse through prevention education and programs.”
The center also provides free counseling through the Community Counseling Program. Anyone, service members or their family members, can make appointments or take walk-in counseling sessions. Vicain said counselors offer tools to help with stress management, grief and other personal concerns. During counseling, professionals can help to identify key issues to come up with solid goals and solutions.
Both Wagner and other CAARE Center staff members said one of the main messages they want people to get from the fair is the manager can readily put anyone in touch with other services they may need. Although the Substance Abuse Counseling Center is in its own location in building 279, they share contacts and resources with the CAARE Center as a behavioral health program.
“Even if someone (without a) substance abuse problem (approaches) our counselors (for help with) something else, we can connect them to the right people,” said Rick De Leon, clinical program manager at the MCB Hawaii SACC. “The agencies are trained and ready to answer any question.”
De Leon said he’s working on several upcoming free public talks with experts about alcohol and drug abuse. This is part of the push for his office and the other behavioral health programs to encourage community involvement, with programs for every need.
“The Victim Advocacy Program can help individuals and the New Parent Support Program can help younger families,” Wagner said. “We have more prevention programs that are geared to educate everyone.”
De Leon and SACC staff members have previously worked with outside agencies including Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Honolulu Police Department. He said his office strives to remind everyone of the dangers of substance abuse, how to stop it in their community and provide help for those struggling with addiction. Vicain said the move to integrate resources and be thoroughly connected is part of a movement through all of the Marine Corps to provide support for any problem so everyone can get help.
“There’s no wrong door,” she said. “Any behavioral health program manager can help get you to where you need to go.”