The hospital has been a mainstay in mental health care since the early 1950's, and over the years with continuous cuts in the program, its resources have gained critical importance. Mental health advocates say Southeast Louisiana Hospital has been one of their top hospitals in the region.
SELH is a 348 bed state operated psychiatric treatment facility serving adults, adolescents, and children. Current programs and services provided by Southeast Louisiana Hospital are based on the belief that persons with mental illness can and do recover. The concept of recovery and resiliency which places emphasis on the involvement of the individual and family, personal responsibility and self direction is reflected in the design of treatment programs and services offered by the hospital. Additionally, as part of the recovery model SELH promotes client involvement in the day to day operation of the hospital.
This state needs the mental health Southeast LA Hospital provides. If the hospital closes, the clients will be moved out of the place where both the clients and their families know they are safe. Not only that, but it is taking the clients away from their families. Most clients who go home on the weekends, will not be able to do that anymore as distance will be a factor. If they move, they won't get regular visits from their families. How would you feel if it was your family member? Not to mention there will be even more mentally ill people on the streets.
On to the caregivers of these clients: 563 full time employees will lose their job. This number does not include all the contract and pool employees. These are people who are there because they love what they do. They don't do it for the money. They do it because they believe in what they do. Most of the employees struggle to pay their bills. If they lose their jobs, they lose everything.
This will have a potentially severe economic impact on Southeast Louisiana, especially Mandeville and Lacombe. It will affect all of St. Tammany Parish as people will not have the money to spend. Local restaurants that are packed during lunch hour, will be ghost towns.
"Southeast Louisiana Hospital, one team with a mission: hope, empowerment, and recovery."