NE Delta HSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A. Sizer delivered the keynote address at today’s Mental Health and Addiction Conference, conducted by the Northeast Louisiana Behavioral Health Advisory Council.
Dr. Sizer discussed the upcoming Louisiana Medicaid Expansion and its impact to the northeast Louisiana region. “Within the state’s goal of enrolling 375,000 citizens, it is projected that we’ll have about 30,000 new Medicaid clients throughout our region,” he said. “We must continue to collaborate as providers and break out of the silos in which we previously worked, so we can help our citizens live healthier lives.”
He outlined some of the challenges providers face in serving regional citizens, like lack of transportation, a shortage of psychiatrists and inpatient care and a stigma attached to behavioral health that still keeps people from obtaining the services they need. “We must continue to keep a vision around solutions and giving our citizens access to quality care so they can make healthy life choices,” he said.
“Solutions are really about finding innovative ways to work together and make a system change so that our citizens can improve their own lives. We are building momentum with programs to help catalyze productive solutions,” said Dr. Sizer. “For example, our faith-based mental health work continues to grow as we reach out to citizens in their own communities.”
“We are also working toward implementation of the Delta Opportunity Initiative, which would formally bring together separate state entities to catalyze efforts of regional housing, workforce agencies and others to help reduce poverty and improve treatment and prevention education. Through this continued integrated behavioral and primary healthcare work with our partners, we will help realize healthy outcomes for our citizens.”
Advisory Council Interim Chair Dr. John D. Edwards and Council Chair-Elect Dr. Candi Hill welcomed more than 200 professionals from the mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability fields and introduced the featured topics and speakers, including:
- An overview of Mental Health & Addictions — John D. Edwards, Ed.D. and Janet Miller
- Diagnosis, Treatment and Psychopharmacology – Wililam G. McCown, Ph.D.
- The State of Behavioral Health: A State and Regional Perspective – Monteic A. Sizer, Ph.D.
- Signs, Diagnosis, Treatment and Intervention: Children/Adolescent Perspectives – Candi Hill, Ph.D. and Shelley Visconte, Ph.D. Candidate
- Cultural Sensitivity, Peer Support and Advocacy – John D. Edwards, Ed.D., Christopher Stone, Certified Peer Support Specialist, Mark C. Thomas, The Extra Mile Behavioral Health Advocate
About Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (Northeast Delta HSA)
NE Delta HSA directs the operation of community-based programs to improve the quality of life of people with major mental illness, developmental disabilities and addictive disorders. NE Delta HSA is devoted to deliver programs and services that encourage people to reach their true human potential. Three tenets guide our efforts: excellent customer service, greater access to services and competent, quality care. Northeast Delta HSA serves citizens in 12 parishes of northeastern Louisiana: Caldwell, East Carroll, West Carroll, Ouachita, Lincoln, Madison, Franklin, Morehouse, Jackson, Tensas, Richland and Union. For more information, please visit www.nedeltahsa.org.