$24 million allocated for the new Behavioral Health facility
The American Samoa Department of Health was awarded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to fund the new Behavioral Health facility and renovate the vet clinic facility to provide additional and enhanced health services.
(We will report on the relocation of the vet clinic tomorrow) According to the American Samoa 2023 Recovery Plan Performance Report, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Territory of American Samoa declared a Public Health Emergency, implementing aggressive preventative measures to reduce the risk of the SARS-CoV-2 entry or transmission in the community.
Those measures included border closure, territorial-wide curfews requiring most, if not all, business operations to cease at a particular time (e.g., 6pm), as well as halting all social and public gatherings. During this time, there was an increase in domestic violence cases and suicide rates.
This funding will allow ASDOH to establish data-driven decision-making processes to assess community needs and support all underserved areas and vulnerable populations.
Building up Behavioral Health Infrastructure will give American Samoa the tools necessary to provide adequate services for all people.
A new facility will also allow for more programs and a wide range of services to address the health issues in all areas of the territory of American Samoa.
In American Samoa, many live in remote locations, making preventative and therapeutic services far more complex.