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Shreveport is getting a new option when it comes to our community's behavioral health care needs. If you're not sure about what 'behavioral health' entails, it's 'the scientific study of emotions, behaviors, and biology relating to a person's mental well-being and their ability to function in everyday life and their concept of self according,' to InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

I am a firm believer that your mental health is just as important to maintain as your physical health. I think we've all become more in touch with the significance of our mental wellbeing over the past year due to the pandemic, but there's so much more to it than that. Almost one in five Americans are living with mental illness and annual spending on mental health exceeds $200 million according to CommonWealthFund.com. Having more access to behavioral and mental health care is the first step to ensuring a community's health.

That's why I was so excited to get the news that Ochsner LSU Health and Oceans Healthcare have teamed up to open the new Louisiana Behavioral Health hospital at 9320 Linwood Avenue in Shreveport at the former LifeCare main campus. They are planning on a phased opening starting Thursday, January 14, 2020, with a virtual grand opening which you'll be able to watch via the Louisiana Behavioral Health Facebook page. 

According to the media advisory, the new facility, 'expands access to care in the community and will execute a phased opening, accepting patients beginning in January. It will provide inpatient care for patients 18 and older immediately, adding geriatric services for patients 55 and older by March and an intensive outpatient program by the end of 2021. The partnership is based on a shared vision of expanded access to behavioral health services in the North Louisiana community.'

This is an excellent next step in the expansion of mental health services in northwest Louisiana!

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