More mental health services could be coming to Ascension Parish

Louisiana is only a few days away from rolling out its new suicide prevention hotline number.
Louisiana is only a few days away from rolling out its new suicide prevention hotline number.(WAFB)
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:51 PM CST
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ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Mental health services need to be better, according to Ascension Parish Council Member Teri Casso.

“We are well funded mental health and health unit in Ascension Parish, generosity of the taxpayers is boundless for its concern. And we need to provide more and better services,” Casso said.

Ascension Parish has had a long relationship with Our Lady of the Lake and will partner to provide more mental health services.

“Ascension is not unique to many communities, but mental health is always one of those conditions where we don’t seem to have enough providers. There are always more folks that are seeking mental healthcare then than we have, so our ability to partner and expand is critically important to provide the services and the health of the community,” OLOL-Ascension chief medical officer Chris Trevino said.

Having more providers will make a big difference, Trevino said.

“We try to identify these individuals who really need a different resource than jail and get them out of jail and get them the resource, hopefully keeping them out of jail and helping them be productive,” Trevino said.

A vital part of the partnership will focus on getting treatment for people who find themselves in the judicial system due to underlying mental health diagnoses.

“A lot of the people in jail should not be in jail, they need treatment. They need help, but their lives have intersected with criminal justice as a result of inappropriate behavior that’s a result of their mental health,” Casso said.

Trevino said they will need to bring in more physicians and counselors to help put this partnership into action.

The full Ascension Parish Council will vote on the partnership at their next meeting on January 19.

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