ST. CROIX, US VIRGIN ISLANDS – The VI Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Division invites the St. Croix community to “Music Therapy,” a combination of music and motivational speaking to close out Mental Health Awareness Month. 

The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Wednesday, May 31st, at Buddhoe Park in Frederiksted and will feature music by the Eddie Russell Jazz Band and the spoken word with Nicole Craigwell-Syms, Assistant Commissioner for the VI Department of Health, and other guests.  

“Music therapy is often used therapeutically to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals,” said Renan Steele, Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Services for the VI Department of Health. “It also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words and provides an outlet for expression of feelings.” 

The department’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is “Changing the Narrative,” which reflects the ongoing effort to break the stigma and change how Virgin Islanders communicate about mental illnesses. 

During the month of May, in observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Behavioral Health Division held an open house, collected food items for the homeless, and provided visual art therapy and a burnout prevention session to the department’s employees, and launched an online video series to tackle tough conversations around mental health. The video series, titled “Mindfulness Mondays,” addressed such as suicide prevention, gun violence prevention, and developing healthy relationships. Shatel Noel, Director of the VI Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Division, and Zulima Webster, State Prevention Coordinator for the VI Department of Health and licensed therapist, hosted the series. 

The Division of Behavioral Health offers clinical treatment programs and services to preserve and strengthen the well-being of the community through challenging life transitions. As a compassionate service provider, the division’s aim is to provide the highest quality of behavioral health care to restore emotional wellness and to build stability in our island community. 

The division provides outpatient services including psychiatric evaluations, medication management, individual therapy, intensive case management, substance use disorder services, and opioid treatment, as well as residential treatment services within the territory and off-island placement if found to be necessary. In addition to the services offered in our clinics, outreach teams provide on-site presentations and interventions within the school setting, government agencies and private companies by invitation. 

For services, please call the division’s St. Thomas office at (340) 774-7700, the St. Croix office at (340) 712-0096 or the St. John office at (340) 776-6400. For access 24/7 to speak or text with a counselor please contact “988.”