AP NEWS

Mental health care summit: Local officials must lead effort

October 31, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Federal officials say Louisiana leaders must take the lead in addressing mental health care for their own communities.

The Advocate reports national and local politicians, law enforcement, health care experts and social services professionals attended a summit Tuesday in Baton Rouge hosted by Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. They agreed providing mental health services to keep patients out of emergency rooms and jail is vital, but the speakers said it must be a bottom-up effort.

Cynthia Kemp says she had worked toward better service in Arlington, Virginia, roughly a decade ago, raising about $800,000 for a jail diversion program and crisis intervention team. She’s now with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Cassidy says communities need to leverage local money to collect federal grant assistance.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com