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Guam’s position in the Pacific ocean makes it a key strategic point for U.S. military planning.
USA TODAY

HAGATNA, Guam — Guam residents who are worked up about the latest North Korea news should recognize it’s a situation beyond their control, mental health experts say.

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday threatened a missile strike on Guam. Guam government officials have assured that the island is not in danger. That won’t stop residents from feeling worried and anxious, but experts said it’s important to find ways to stay calm.

“I see the headlines … and I know there are people that are more prone to anxiety than others,” said Annie Unpingco, administrator for the I Famagu’on-ta program at the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center’s child-adolescent services division. I Famagu’on-ta is Chamorro for “our children.” 

“For those that are going through that difficult time, they can give us a call and they talk to us on the phone or come in,” Unpingco said.

More: Trump: North Korea leader Kim Jong Un ‘will regret it fast’ if he threatens U.S. or allies

More: U.S. and North Korea are in regular contact through back channel diplomacy

Child and adolescent psychiatrist Kirk Bellis said Friday that he had to calm down some of his worried adult clients. He told them that it was OK to be afraid of things.

“Fear is common, it’s OK,” he said. “But it’s nothing that you need to be concerned about right now. Worry is a bad use of imagination.” 

Then he smiled. “Worry is only good for wrinkles.”

Continuing with your normal routine and having a predictable schedule can help combat anxiety, Bellis said. And if you need help, you don’t necessarily need a licensed mental health professional.

“Lean on someone that you know and trust who you know to be level-headed and…