1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Federated States of Micronesia Pediatric Mental Health Care Access

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program (PMHCA)

Project Director(s):

Marcus Samo
Federated States of Micronesia Department of Health and Social Affairs
Pohnpei, FM
Phone: (691) 320-2619

Goals and Objectives:

The Federated States of Micronesia's (FSM) project, Pediatric Mental Health Care Access - New Expansion Area (PMHCA), will serve a large geographical area consisting of more than a million square miles that stretches 1,700 miles from the eastern border to the western border. FSM is an independent sovereign developing country located 2,000 miles southwest of Hawaii and north of the equator. The western edge of the country borders the U.S. territory of Guam. FSM consists of 607 small islands with a total landmass of only 270 sq. miles. There are four states in FSM, from east to west the states are Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Yap. Target population is children and adolescents in the 0-21 age group with mental health disorders and their families living in FSM. Presently, the FSM National BHWP Department has very little existing data. The Department does know of 79 families with children who have severe mental disorders. These families all live in the population centers. Additionally, these families sought services either because of a court order or by self-identification. Mental health disorders are kept extremely well hidden. In this proposal, FSM requests for $445,000 in federal funding with a cost-matching of $89,000 from local funds per year to accomplish the goals/objectives of this PMHCA Cooperative Agreement -- including strengthening of telehealth services and establishment of a nationwide/regional Pediatric Mental Health Care Network to provide support to Primary Care Providers as necessary. FSM does not have an existing pediatric mental health network. As a result, FSM BHWP has unmet health needs including preventative measures, outreach, education, screening, assessment, and early treatment. The World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted the lack of mental health professionals in FSM with only one psychiatrist and two social workers available for the entire country. There is one hospital in each of the four states and a ratio of 0.6 physicians per 1,000 individuals. However due to the lack of transportation infrastructure and the remoteness of the many 607 islands that make up the country, access to health facilities and doctors is limited only to residents in urban centers. Telehealth is seen as an answer for the islands, and residents outside of the population centers that have the communication infrastructure.