If asking for help is the first step, knowing where to find it has to be the second. Last week, that step became a little easier for the citizens of New Orleans, as Mayor Mitch Landrieu, along with health commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo, released the city’s first “Behavioral Health Resource Guide,” a copy of which you can find here.
New Orleans officials worked with the Obama administration’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative, represented by SAMHSA and other partners in the local community. According to a release, the guide provides an inventory of all mental health and substance abuse services and resources.
“Mental health and substance abuse are significant public health challenges in our city,” said DeSalvo. “A critical first step towards tackling behavioral health challenges for our community is to link those in need with existing services.”
The guide provides information about programs and services offered in community- and clinic-based settings, as well as necessary resources to access services such public funding options and housing and supportive services.
On one hand, it’s wonderful that this type of literature is being produced in order to help direct people to find the treatment they might need. But on the other hand, it’s unfortunate that these resources are not already available in so many parts of the country.