New Mental Health Facility to Be Federally Certified

The new mental health facility at the LBJ Hospital is to be certified by the federal government as a behavioral health provider for the US Army Reserve, Veterans Administration and Tri Care beneficiaries.

An executive order issued by Governor Lolo on Monday establishes a new Council called the American Samoa Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council tasked with bringing all agencies with behavioral health related responsibilities to work together and provide policy direction for the operation of the new mental health center.

This would include funding, staffing and management mechanisms for the center.

The Director of Health is the permanent chairperson of the Council while members are to select a vice chairperson.

The Council shall be composed of two representatives from each of the following ASG agencies: Health, Human and Social Services, Education-Special Education Division, Public Safety, LBJ Hospital, Human Resources, Legal Affairs, Youth and Women Affairs, Office of Protection and Advocacy for the Disabled, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Governor’s Office.

It will also include two representatives each from non profit organizations with resources in behavioral health, to be nominated by the council, as well as consumers, family and caregivers.

Governor Lolo states in the executive order that a new state-of-the-art, free standing ten-bed inpatient and outpatient behavioral health clinic is nearing completion.

It’s designed to improve behavioral health services to the general public and prison inmates with mental health issues.

Lolo said the facility is intended to be certified by the feds as a health provider for the US Army, Veterans Administration and Tri Care beneficiaries.

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