Guam – The cost of the Master Plan devised by the Federal Management Team for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse [DMHSA] will be phased in over the next 36 months.
Visiting District Court Judge Consuelo Marshal approved the Plan of Action last Thursday. It calls for a complete overhaul of the ailing department.
Federal Manager Dr. James Kiffer says the price tag is in the neighborhood of $25 million dollars. He says $15 million of that will be paid by GovGuam over the course of the next 36 months.
The broad outlines of the Plan of Action call for hiring 118 people … maintaining 2 clusters of studio apartments to house outpatients as well as managing 4 residential homes with 4 bedrooms in each for clients in need of less supervision.
Kiffer also said the plan will include a re-organization of DMHSA which will include the creation of a Quality Assurance Division and a Training Division.
These steps are expected to cost $15 million.
However, the centerpiece of the Plan of Action is the construction of a care center in Upper Tumon across from JFK High. A 12 month old estimate of the cost of that center is about $9 million dollars, but Kiffer acknowledges that that cost will probably rise once construction begins. As a result the total price tag for the Plan of Action is probably in the $24 to 25 million dollar range.
Kiffer says the aim to provide a totality of care for those suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. GovGuam officials he says have been briefed on the costs and he and fellow manager Jim Casey believe the cost should be manageable.