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New Orleans Times-Picayune profiles RHD's New Hope NOLA: 'Mid-City facility opens doors to mentally ill'
7/23/2012 11:48:26 AM
The New Orleans Times-Picayune covered the grand opening of RHD's New Hope NOLA, a short-term crisis stabilization program that operates in a home-like environment where clients are offered a safe, supportive place to regain skills and reduce symptoms of their psychiatric illness:
Tulane Avenue in Mid-City is a familiar destination for those with mental illness. Some end up in the criminal-justice system at Tulane and Broad. Others end up a few blocks farther down the street, at Interim LSU Public Hospital, more commonly called University Hospital. But now advocates have set up a new destination on Tulane, not far from Jefferson Davis Parkway. Called New Hope NOLA, it's a five-bed, short-term respite facility designed to help stabilize people who feel unstable, overwhelmed or suicidal because of mental illness.
Jails and emergency rooms are common landing spots for people spiraling out of control because of serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. According to the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, one in eight ER visits in the United States were due to mental-health or substance-abuse problems. The U.S. Department of Justice has found that 43 percent of jail inmates and 32 percent of state prison inmates showed symptoms of mental illness.
But often, jails and hospitals are "the wrong doors" for people with mental illness, said city health commissioner Karen DeSalvo, who called New Hope "an important step" toward establishing a more complete mental-health safety net for the area.
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