At Long Last, Mental Health Facility Is Opened

It took decades to get this project off the drawing board but it’s finally opened.

This morning, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga cut the ribbon to officially open the American Samoa Behavioral Health Center behind the LBJ Hospital.

Just last week Chief Justice Michael Kruse was at the construction site to see for himself if the facility was ready to take in people with mental conditions.mental health center Gov

In his speech at the dedication of the mental health center, Governor Lolo said that he now understands why the Chief Justice demanded the completion of the facility and he’s glad that this burden is now off the CJ’s shoulder.

Director of the LBJ Plant Operation Services, I’iga Peseta Sa Mavaega said the Department of Interior provided $3.2 million for the facility but the total cost came to $3.4 million.

Initially the center was to be built next to the juvenile detention center but after several consultations with DOI and those involved with the project, the Fagaalu site was endorsed.

Director of Health Motusa Tuileama Nua said the opening of the mental health facility was a milestone for the people and government of American Samoa.

He said this is the only facility of its kind in the Pacific area and American Samoa should make good use of it …that this is just the beginning of a long road.

mental health outsideIt was a happy moment for the staff, when Director of Public Works Faleosina Voigt, handed over the certificate of occupancy.

Witnessing the ribbon cutting were LBJ CEO, Taufete’e Faumuina, Chairman of the Hospital Authority Board, Filifa’atali Mike Fuiava, Lydia Faleafine, DOI Field Representative, Director of Commerce Lafaele Keniseli, Commissioner of Public Safety, Save Liuato Tuitele, Director of Human and Social Services Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona and Deputy Attorney General, Mitize Jessop Ta’ase.

Also attending was a group of CDC officials who are here to conduct the latest assessment of the Zika virus and will be offering skills training for the newly opened Behavioral Health Center.

Guests took a tour of the facility after the ribbon cutting.

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