31 Jul 2009

American Samoa mental health patients to receive in-patient care

6:22 pm on 31 July 2009

Mental health patients in American Samoa are expected to receive their first in-patient care at a new treatment cente in about a year.

The new facility will be established at the Tafuna Family Health Centre.

Patients with serious mental health problems are currently being sent overseas or are being looked after in prison, although at times a number of beds are set aside in the main hospital.

The territory is currently offering out-patient care.

The high court has been calling for a mental health facility for some time, and the chief assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Divison, Lisa Teesch-Maguire, says they have now secured federal and local funding for it.

"It will be able to cater for both, inpatient and outpatient needs and we hope that it'll be able to serve acute patients who need special treatment as well as general mental health patients and any long-term inpatient care that the territory needs as well."

Lisa Teesch-Maguire says construction will begin in six weeks.