mental health

While Chiffonda Hampton was serving three years in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, she met Tonja Myles, a Peer Support Specialist with Capital Area Human Services. Myles was offering wellness classes to inmates with mental illness. Those classes taught Hampton how to cope with the anger of being abused as a child and basic life skills she had never learned before. Now that Hampton is out of prison, she continues to check in with Myles at CAHS.

Hillar Moore, was an investigator in the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office for 11 years, and a criminal defense attorney for 16 years, before he was elected DA himself.

With his long career in law enforcement, it has not escaped him that Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country.

Mental Illness Lands Many in Parish Prison

Mar 9, 2015

When someone having a mental health crisis is picked up by Baton Rouge Police, they often end up inside parish prison. Sources at Capitol Area Human Services estimate between 30 and 50 percent of inmates there are suffering with a mental illness.

Eve Abrams / WWNO

Pop Quiz: Which New Orleans official was first elected to office in 1974 and has been reelected to that same office nine times, serving a total of 40 consecutive years on the job? Here’s a hint: the office is in charge of mental health commitments, sexual assault examinations, and... classifying the dead.

If you guessed Frank Minyard, the Coroner of New Orleans, you are right. But, for the first time in four decades, Mr. Minyard will not be on the ballot this Saturday. We take a look into who is vying to become New Orleans’ next coroner.

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.

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