mental health

At the close of the recent legislative session, Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed additional funding to pay for services for the developmentally disabled.

Two weeks ago, an effort to override the veto failed.

The $3.9 million would have covered a partial year of comprehensive at-home disability services for an additional 200 people through what are called "New Opportunity Waivers".

My, how we love our characters in New Orleans. Which is a good thing. 

Locals still talk about Ruthie the Duck Girl, even though she died in 2008. In my neighborhood of Tremé, we have a tall man with a scraggly beard who pushes a grocery cart around, having random conversations with a street corner. Or an empty can. 

We celebrate these characters. We tenderly laugh with them. But we don’t always see that, underneath the eccentricity that makes for a funny story, is often a mental illness that is anything but funny.

Family members are often the first to notice signs of mental illness in a loved one, and in many cases they hold the key to unlocking treatment. One local nonprofit is helping them cope with the impact of mental illness on the whole family and showing them how to be better advocates for the long haul.

The new private operator of a St. Tammany Parish psychiatric hospital has hired about 125 of the 354 workers laid off by the state.

Friday was the last day of work for many employees of Southeast Louisiana Hospital, who were laid off when the state decided to privatize it, the Advocate reports.

Meridian Behavioral Health System takes over Wednesday.

It's not clear exactly how many people will be left without a job, because some state employees are retiring and a few others are transferring.

Red Cross tips on Isaac anxiety

Aug 28, 2012

With Isaac poised to make landfall in the same areas of the Gulf Coast struck by Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, the American Red Cross has a series of tips for families and individuals in the region that may experience anxiety about the storm and anniversary.

Louisiana's health department has received approval to hire private companies to run state facilities in Hammond and Bossier City that care for the developmentally disabled.

The Civil Service Commission agreed to the plans Wednesday without objection.

Under the plans already backed by lawmakers, the state is turning over the operations of Northlake Supports and Services Center and Northwest Supports and Services Center to private contractors.

Almost 60 years since it opened, the Southeast Louisiana Hospital — a psychiatric facility that gained national notoriety in 1959 when then-Gov. Earl Long was briefly committed there — is preparing to close down its daily operations.

The Times-Picayune reports that the hospital's closing is part of an $859 million cut to the state's federal Medicaid program.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals hopes to send all 176 beds occupied at the hospital to other public and private hospitals in the state.

HOUMA — A man charged with fatally shooting his sister and wounding her boyfriend was a paranoid schizophrenic who was off his medication, his brother says

Joseph Voisin, 44, has been arrested for killing Mary Voisin, 47, and wounding Christopher Smith, 45, Thursday at their home in Gray, La.

Sam Voisin, the suspect's brother, tells The Courier that there were no signs anything was wrong. Family members had finished dinner, and Mary Voisin and Smith went into a bedroom with Joseph Voisin while Sam Voisin watched TV.

Tyler A. Gamble / Office of Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

On this week's episode we'll hear from Mayor Mitch Landrieu about violent crime, Eve Abrams profiles mental health in the city, and a new music festival comes to New Orleans.

Mental Health Care

May 24, 2012
Eve Abrams / WWNO

One enduring legacy of Hurricane Katrina and the storm's aftermath is stress.  Stress about  home, family, money, environment, and on and on.  But stress doesn’t stay stress; it has a tendency to become other things.  Eve Abrams investigates how dealing with hard situations, in a New Orleans helping fewer mental-health patients, has affected the health, safety, and moral compass/future of our city.