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LDH Office of Behavioral Health introduces Louisiana Crisis Response System services

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH)’s Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) is expanding services to Louisiana Medicaid members experiencing a mental health crisis with the phased implementation of a comprehensive crisis system of care, a critical goal identified in LDH’s Fiscal Year 2022 Business Plan. These services are directly correlated to LDH’s DOJ Agreement and are critical to LDH’s compliance with the Agreement.

Mobile Crisis Response, Community Brief Crisis Support, and Behavioral Health Crisis Care are the first three of four Medicaid services affiliated with the Louisiana Crisis Response System (LA-CRS), a modern, innovative, and coordinated approach to crisis services that build upon the unique and varied strengths, resources and needs of Louisiana’s local communities. The fourth service, Crisis Stabilization, will be phased in at a later date pending legislative funding.

Individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis can access services until the crisis is resolved and/or the person returns to existing services or is linked to other behavioral health supports as needed. OBH will expand services to every region during a phased-in rollout.

“Experiencing a mental health crisis can be frightening and confusing, especially when the individual feels that they have no control over their own treatment. We know that safety and trust are critical to successfully navigating such a crisis. With the introduction of the Louisiana Crisis Response System, Louisianans enrolled in Medicaid will have access to a continuum of rapid, coordinated services delivered in a way that best allows them to remain in their communities,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips.

“Louisiana has the opportunity to fully develop its crisis response network. When we started this initiative, no communities had access to the full continuum of services envisioned by LDH,” said Assistant Secretary Karen Stubbs, Office of Behavioral Health. “However, some providers and communities demonstrated readiness to expand crisis response services through existing niche programming with robust collaboration and buy-in from crucial partners such as law enforcement, hospital systems, and local resource centers.”

Through the implementation of the Louisiana Crisis Response System, individuals ages 21 and older who are served by one of the five Medicaid Healthy Louisiana plans and experiencing emotional distress will have access to a continuum of voluntary crisis services that are built on principles of recovery and which aim to divert from unnecessary hospitalizations and institutional levels of care.

Services offered by the Louisiana Crisis Response System include Mobile Crisis Response, which is a service that is available as an initial intervention for individuals in a self-identified crisis, in which teams deploy to where the individual is located in the community. Community Brief Crisis Support is a face-to-face ongoing crisis intervention response, designed to provide stabilization and support in the community subsequent to the initial intervention. Behavioral Health Crisis Care is a facility-based walk-in center providing short-term behavioral health crisis intervention, offering a community-based voluntary home-like alternative to more restrictive settings. Crisis Stabilization which is a short-term, bed-based crisis treatment and support service for individuals who have received a lower level of crisis service and are at risk of hospitalization or institutionalization, including nursing home placement (funding requested for State Fiscal Year 2023)

“You never know when a mental health crisis may affect you or someone you love. However, one thing is clear: You want quality services quickly. The Louisiana Crisis Response System provides a spectrum of services designed to meet individuals where they are in their communities, providing stabilization and linkage to resources to help them on their path to recovery,” said Rep. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans.

Services are live in Greater New Orleans (Region 1): Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes; Services by Resources for Human Development, Inc.; Mobile Crisis Response; Community Brief Crisis Support; Greater Baton Rouge (Region 2): Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge; and West Feliciana parishes, Services by Recovery Innovations / Bridge Center for Hope; Mobile Crisis Response; Community Brief Crisis Support; Behavioral Health Crisis Care; South-Central Louisiana (Region 3): Assumption, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, and Terrebonne parishes; Services by Start Corporation; Mobile Crisis Response; Community Brief Crisis Support; Behavioral Health Crisis Care; Northwest Louisiana (Region 7): Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Red River, Sabine, Webster and Natchitoches parishes; Services by Merakey Louisiana; Mobile Crisis Response; Community Brief Crisis Support; Behavioral Health Crisis Care; Jefferson Parish (Region 10); Services by Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority; Community Brief Crisis Support; and Behavioral Health Crisis Care.

Additional services in these and other regions will be announced as they go live.

“The implementation of crisis services in Louisiana allows us to better meet the needs of people in the community by providing recovery-oriented and person-centered resolutions to crisis, thereby allowing individuals to stay in the community with better outcomes. Implementation of these services should result in reduced demand on unnecessary emergency room utilization and first responder services to stabilize crisis events,” said Adrian Perron, executive director of operations for Merakey Louisiana.

Individuals enrolled in Medicaid may access Mobile Crisis Response and Community Brief Crisis Support by calling their managed care organization’s 24-hour behavioral health crisis line. Crisis phone numbers are also located on the back of Medicaid insurance cards.
The phone numbers are as followed, Aetna Better Health:1-833-491-1094; AmeriHealth Caritas of Louisiana: 1-844-211-0971; Healthy Blue: 1-844-812-2280; Louisiana Healthcare Connections: 1-844-677-7553; and United Healthcare: 1-866-232-1626.

To access Behavioral Health Crisis Care in
Greater Baton Rouge: Call Recovery Innovations at 225-256-6604 or visit the Bridge Center for Hope at 3455 Florida Boulevard, Suite 400, Baton Rouge, LA 70806; in South-Central Louisiana: Call Start Corporation at 985-333-1633 or 985-266-8340; in Northwest Louisiana: Call Merakey Louisiana at 318-219-4167 or 336-277-8615; and in Jefferson Parish: Call Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority at 504-349-3740 or visit 5001 Westbank Expressway, Suite 200, Marrero, LA 70072.

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About the Louisiana Department of Health
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. The Louisiana Department of Health includes the Office of Public Health, Office of Aging & Adult Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid). To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.