MONROE, LA – Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NEDHSA) is aware and actively monitoring Hurricane Ida as it threatens Louisiana. NEDHSA encourages the residents of Northeast Louisiana to get prepared now and Get a Game Plan.
NEDHSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A. Sizer said the agency is taking the necessary steps “to ensure business continuity and taking care of our staff and clients.”
“As we prepare internally for Hurricane Ida, we will also position ourselves to play a role in supporting the needs of behavioral health and developmental disability populations,” Dr. Sizer said. “We are also mindful of the need to practice the precautions surrounding COVID-19 and its variants as we work through our preparation and recovery roles.”
NEDHSA conducted a COVID-19 impact study on the region and is aware that a natural disaster may add and trigger additional behavioral and primary health issues. Based on its emergency and pandemic readiness, NEDHSA developed an emergency preparedness portal for COVID-19 to address the region’s behavioral and primary health care needs.
For updates and information regarding Hurricane Ida, text “IDA” to 67283. For individuals in a crisis regarding behavioral health, call the NEDHSA 24/7 Crisis Line at 800-256-2522. For individuals who developmental disabilities, call the NEDHSA Waiver Service Help Line at 800-660-0488.
Other behavioral health immediate resources are as follows:
Office of Behavioral Health Keep Calm Line – 1-866-310-7977
Behavioral Health Recovery Outreach Line – 1-833-333-1132
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255 (vets press 1)
Crisis Text Line – Text REACHOUT to 741741
Louisiana 211 – Call 2-1-1
For more information on how to get a hurricane and tropical storm game plan, visit getagameplan.org.
“When the discussion raged between individual choices, genetic predispositions, structural racism, poverty, and limited access to health care, and when history revealed itself through clinical research challenges, vaccine distribution problems, vaccine hesitancy, and trust issues,” Dr. Sizer said.
NEDHSA has provided COVID-19 surveys and research to understand its clients’ challenges during the pandemic and has encouraged the public to get vaccinated.
Dr. Sizer said, “he believes health care can be the unifying glue that brings our nation’s complexity together.”
“We all get sick. We all want to be cared for when we become ill. And we are all going to die,” Dr. Sizer said. “A person’s race, ethnicity, education, money, where they live, their political affiliation, or faith tradition they believe in or don’t believe in cannot save them from these inevitabilities.”
In July, NEDHSA announced its Rise Above Stigma project to provide targeted training and catalyze an outreach community engagement campaign to impoverished parish members.
The health stigma reduction effort aims to help increase access to behavioral health support services, provide mental health awareness, and other culturally and linguistically appropriate training for the twelve parish communities in northeast Louisiana.
Dr. Sizer said, “the solutions exist within the problem, America’s complexity.”
“America must be honest. In doing so, we must insist on opportunities for all with partialities shown to none,” Dr. Sizer said. “Next, we must seek justice, freedom, equity, seek to adopt new knowledge and beliefs, and develop compassion for those sick and hurting in our nation. These are the same aspirations found in our founding documents. Finally, we need to summon the courage as a nation to be what we say.”