NEW ORLEANS — On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, the New Orleans Health Department, Metropolitan Human Services District and the New Orleans Behavioral Health Council will host the second annual Behavioral Health Public Forum. While the previous year’s forum served to publicly re-launch the Council and engage residents, this year’s forum will provide residents an opportunity to learn about the progress, successes and challenges that have been encountered in the mission to create a comprehensive and coordinated system of behavioral health care in New Orleans.

Taking into account the current substance abuse crisis, the forum will include a discussion on the epidemic surrounding substance use and the effects of opioids. The forum will also include a presentation on the local efforts of Metropolitan Human Services District (MHSD) in creating a Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC). Residents are encouraged to attend this event to learn about the work of the Council and to contribute to the discussion about behavioral health needs in our community.

“Each partnering organization brings invaluable expertise and commitment, creating the remarkable footprint the Behavioral Health Council has made within the City,” said Fran Lawless, Interim Health Director.

“MHSD’s role as co-leader and navigator for the Behavioral Health Council through the complex world of behavioral health has provided a tremendous opportunity for shared expertise with critical intersecting systems along the way," said Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham, Executive Director of Metropolitan Human Services District.

In 2011, the Health Department began examining the City’s role in addressing behavioral health issues, such as mental illness and substance use. With support and guidance from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Health Department issued a report — Behavioral Health in New Orleans 2012: Recommendations for Systems Change — which recommended the establishment of an inter-agency body to shape system-wide change. This led to the formation of the Behavioral Health Council to bring together providers, advocates and consumers from throughout the behavioral health community to facilitate coordination, advocate for policy change, influence funding and communicate with the local community. The Council, chaired by the leadership of the Health Department and MHSD, is divided into specific sector work groups (education, criminal justice, housing, health and hospitals) that meet regularly to collaborate toward achieving the Council’s mission.

Who: New Orleans Health Department

New Orleans Behavioral Health Council

What: New Orleans Behavioral Health Council Public Forum

When: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Where: New Orleans Jazz Market

1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

New Orleans, LA 70113


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