New Orleans' Mental Health Crisis
March 26, 2012 2:46 PM   Subscribe

$15m in cuts to the Louisiana State University system's public hospital in New Orleans will devastate the already-taxed public mental health care system in New Orleans. Barely recovered from the Katrina-induced collapse of the system, those who rely on public care will be especially vulnerable.

From the Gambit article:

"NOPD procedure for a potential mental health service call demands five officers, two two-man cars and a ranking officer, she says. That could mean dispatching half, or sometimes, all available officers in a district for a single call. Often those patients will end up seeking treatment at what is now the city's largest single mental health facility.

"It's the 10th floor of the [House of Detention] building," says Dr. Sam Gore, chief psychiatrist for the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office (OPSO), describing the jail system's acute mental health inpatient unit, HOD-10. "It has the mental health clinic where the physicians sit and the nurses have their nurses' station, right there on the tier. So that is the central medical hub, and then there's four tiers."
posted by liketitanic (1 comment total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: It's bad news for sure, but this seems like it's sort of "here is some bad news" territory that's not necessarily great for a post in its own right. -- cortex

In addition to the loss of the 100 beds at Charity and other inpatient and outpatient cutbacks, New Orleans Adolescent Hospital has been closed for a year or more. The four city blocks that plant sits on is prime, high-ground real estate in uptown New Orleans, across from Children's Hospital and near Audubon Park. There was a great outcry in the medical community when it closed because of the crisis New Orleans has experienced especially since Hurricane Katrina in caring for inpatient and outpatient mental health needs. In Louisiana, we seem to be moving toward turning public mental health care over to the prison industry.

Either I have missed it or it hasn't been announced what the city will do with that property and I wonder about this. A little cynicism about city property development is not uncalled for, I'd say.
posted by Anitanola at 3:30 PM on March 26, 2012

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