The impact of mental and substance use disorders spans individuals, families and communities.  Addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.  The Louisiana Department of Health (DHH) emphasizes several critical components of this care: supporting individuals in recovery, understanding the warning signs of use or abuse, and knowing where programs and services are provided.

"We all play distinct and important roles in helping our friends and family find a path to recovery. This month is about recognizing those individuals in long-term recovery and their recovery service providers who make the return to a healthy, productive life possible," said LDH Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert. "As the state health department, our role is to help ensure access to services that support recovery like those currently available through the Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership, treatment and counseling available from the human services districts and authorities, and the state's alcohol and drug abuse helpline at (877)664-2248."

Now in its 26th year, National Recovery Month (observed each September) promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment and recovery services for those in need. Millions of lives have been transformed through recovery. Mental and/or substance use disorders affect millions of Americans and directly touch the lives of individuals, family members, neighbors and colleagues. Given the widespread impact and social cost of these behavioral health conditions, it's important for communities to make services available and accessible.

A key component of supporting recovery for Louisiana residents is ensuring access to treatment and services for individuals with behavioral health needs. To strengthen these services, the Department will soon integrate all specialized behavioral health care services into its Medicaid managed care program known as Bayou Health. Beginning Dec. 1, 2015 patients who previously accessed care through the Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership will now get their specialized behavioral healthcare directly from their Bayou Health Plan.

"We have long known that the best outcomes for those with complex healthcare needs come from a strong coordinated partnership between primary care, mental health and substance use services. This approach allows us to manage care for the whole person," said LDH Assistant Secretary for Behavioral Health Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham. "Supporting others in recovery allows everyone in the process to blossom into their best person. Recovery month provides a platform to celebrate people in all forms of recovery and those who serve them. What we do know is that prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover."

Integrated Health Care

Bayou Health currently serves more than 920,000 Louisiana residents and the outcomes are increasingly positive. The Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership was designed to better coordinate care provided to individuals in need of behavioral health services. Coordinating primary care with behavioral health is essential to improving the quality of care to Louisiana residents served. All five health plans that have been awarded contracts have extensive experience managing specialized behavioral health services in their other plans across the country.

Access to Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental health and/or substance use disorders. Treatment is effective and varied to meet an individual's unique needs.

Know what's available by calling Louisiana's alcohol/drug helpline is (877)664-2248. For more information on recovery month go to http://www.recoverymonth.gov/. For Compulsive Gambling please call (877) 770-7867 or text "nobet" to 66746. You can also chat with a counselor who can help with problem gambling live at www.helpforgambling.org .

Additional mental health, substance abuse and addictive disorder services are available through the local human service districts and authorities. Contact information for each are available at the links below.

-          Acadiana Area Human Service District, (AAHSD)

-          Capital Area Human Services District, (CASHD),

-          Central Louisiana Human Services District, (CLHSD)

-          Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, (FPHSA)

-          Imperial Calcasieu Human Services Authority, (ImCal)

-          Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA)

-          Metropolitan Human Services District, (MHSD)

-          Northeast Delta Human Services Authority, (NEDHSA)

-          Northwest Louisiana Human Services District, (NLHSD)

-          South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority, (SCLHSA)

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all of the state's residents. To learn more about LDH, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's Twitter  and Facebook accounts.

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