A look into the disparaging lack of mental health resources
As important as mental health is, only 60% of people that are suffering from mental illness actually receive care. These people don’t get the care they deserve for a number of reasons. Some people let bias and stigmas steer them away from receiving treatment, while others are faced with prejudice or racism when attempting to get care. One of the main reasons, however, is due to the lack of mental health resources provided to them.
The reality of mental health resources is that they aren’t equally distributed to everyone. This is something that directly affects us because in 2015 Louisiana was ranked as number 47 in overall mental health care. This means the state has a high amount of people with mental illnesses and a low amount of access to care.
After Hurricane Katrina, the resources for people with mental illnesses in New Orleans and surrounding cities plummeted. Many programs were shut down and forced many people who needed supervision and assistance to be, at best, without services and at worse, homeless. In fact, Louisiana citizens with mental illnesses have almost a 5 times more chance to be put in jail than to be hospitalized.
It’s safe to say that there is a ton of work to be done in this state in regards to mental health care; however New Orleans has been consistently increasing its amount of mental health care providers over the past few years. There are a wide variety of services that cater to different age groups and diagnoses. A few of these highly recommended mental health facilities are, Nurse Family Partnership, Children’s Bureau of New Orleans and Integrated Family Services.
One fairly new mental health care provider is Resources for Better Health; located at 4949 Bullard Ave. This company was started by Richelle Lloyd in 2016 and provides counseling services to all ages. Their case workers are highly dedicated to making a difference in the lives they service.
There are also a number of help lines available to provide support.
Our support systems catered to mentally ill individuals has come a long way, now it’s important that we spread the word about them!
If you or anyone you know suffers from any mental illness and may need support, please reach out to any of these resources listed above or visit http://nolaforlife.org/connect/resources/.
Written by Christina Rousseau