Dr. Dunham talks about Mardi Gras and MHSD Safe Zones on WBOK on February 14, 2019
MHSD in the News
Dr. Dunham talks about healthy ways to cope emotionally on WBOK on January 10, 2019
NEW ORLEANS, LA – Metropolitan Human Services District (MHSD) in partnership with Plaquemines Community CARE Center will host a town hall meeting on Tuesday, June 26 at Belle Chasse Auditorium located at 8398 LA-23, Belle Chasse, LA 70037. The meeting will be held from 12pm to 2pm and lunch will be provided for all participants.
As the local governing entity (LGE) for the tri-parish area of Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parish, MHSD will gather Plaquemines parish officials, agencies and partners to discuss the needs of mental illness, addiction and intellectual/developmental disabilities in their immediate community. The agency’s goal is to collect information and feedback that will help better serve parish residents and connect them to resources to help them in their recovery.
MHSD Executive/Medical Director, Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham says, “Plaquemines parish is a critical service area to help those struggling with addiction, mental illness and disabilities. Particularly with the increased suicide rate, we are committed to spearheading this discussion so that we can strategically help decrease those numbers while spreading awareness about the high-quality state and federally funded services we provide.”
“As MHSD’s contracted partner, the Plaquemines Community CARE Center provides direct human services to the residents at multiple locations throughout the entire parish. This partnership allows the PCCC to provide services to those in need. We look forward to continuing to grow our partnership with MHSD, thus allowing us to meet all of the human service needs of our residents,” says Julie Olsen, PCCC Executive Director.
Metropolitan Human Services District is the local lead agency for mental illness, addictive disorders and intellectual/development disability services. MHSD provides community-based services for all ages in Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes through agency clinics and community partners. State and Federal funding are the primary resources for MHSD. For more information, visit www.mhsdla.org or call 504-568-3130.
In New Orleans, despite the overwhelming need, there are just a handful of organizations, outside of counseling in some schools, that provide trauma-focused, evidence-based therapies. These include the nonprofit Children’s Bureau of New Orleans and the state-run Metropolitan Human Services District.
Their efforts, however, are consistently undermined by state budget cuts and a lack of support among local leaders. Nearly a quarter of Metropolitan’s budget has been cut over the past eight years, and yet few people have risen to defend the agency’s mission, said its executive and medical director, Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham.
“Look at the mayoral race. Did you hear anybody talk about mental illness as part of their platforms? Not a single one. And yet, they’re talking about all these (criminal) behaviors. Where do you think these behaviors are coming from?” Head-Dunham said.
Many traumatized children struggling with mental illness self-medicate, primarily with marijuana, to calm their nerves, Kindschy said. This puts them at greater risk for arrest, but for many it’s the only option given the state’s failure to provide mental health care for low-income families, she said.
Read the entire article on NOLA.com – https://projects.nola.com/the-children-of-central-city/treating-trauma/
MHSD kicked the month of June off with our Faith Partners Initiative Training in New Orleans East. The community showed up to get the expertise they needed to help those in their congregations suffering from addiction. WDSU Channel 6 was present to interview MHSD Executive and Medical Director, Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham on the training and its importance!
Recently Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have been the most public faces of suicide with their untimely deaths. Fox Channel 8 interviewed MHSD Peer Support Specialist, Biff Hitchins who shared his personal battle and offered advice to those contemplating suicide. Hitchins is now able to support others on their journey to recovery.