Community Discussion on Mental Health Crisis Issues Brings 275 Together


Challenges, gaps and obstacles to mental health services in the Capital region was the topic of a community mental health education discussion held on Wednesday, February 24, at the Main Library in Baton Rouge. The session, entitled "Meeting the Mental Health Challenges in our Community NOW!", drew more than 275 mental health consumers and advocates.

Three consumers told their personal stories of challenges, obstacles, and successes in finding mental health assistance and their continuing advocacy to help others.  The multi-agency sponsored event was produced by the Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge (MHA), LSU School of Social Work, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's office and Capital Area Human Services (CAHS).

"Today we face many challenges in access to critical services and mental health care. We want the public to know that there are serious gaps and we must keep our elected officials informed of the public's needs," said Melissa Silva, Executive Director of the MHA. The session was moderated by Traci Lilley, LSU School of Social Work and panelists included Dr. Jan Kasofsky and Dr. Aniedi Udofa of Capital Area Human Services; Dr. Beau Clark, EBR Coroner; Jeff Hingle Mental Health Association; Patricia Calfee Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and Warden Grimes, EBR Parish Prison. Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis, a mental health advocate, also attended the event.


About Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge

The Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge was founded in 1954 and serves the Capital Area United Way ten-parish area. Its mission is to provide services for persons with or at risk for mental health and substance abuse issues.

About SSW

The LSU School of Social Work (SSW) aspires to be a leading graduate school of social work, a vibrant center of intellectual development, a leader in promoting and supporting diverse communities, and an advocate for an integrated and inclusive model of social work, all within a learning environment that supports best educational practices. The Child and Family Studies (CFS) undergraduate degree integrates theory, research, and practice to focus on child development and family dynamics.

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The College is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs.

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