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Louisiana: D

Grading the States 2009 Report Card: Louisiana

In 2006, Louisiana’s mental health care system received a grade of D. Three years later, the grade has not changed. Louisiana’s mental health system must be viewed in the context of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and subsequent storms, which affected inpatient beds, workforce availability, and access to services throughout the Gulf region—including those areas that received evacuees. While people with serious mental illnesses continue to lack access to treatment, leading to overflowing emergency rooms and jails, the state has taken steps to improve the system. Full narrative (PDF).

Grades by Category Detailed Score Card (PDF)

  1. Health Promotion and Measurement: D 25% of Total Grade
    Basic measures, such as the number of programs delivering evidence-based practices, emergency room wait-times, and the quantity of psychiatric beds by setting.
  2. Financing & Core Treatment/Recovery Services: D 45% of Total Grade
    A variety of financing measures, such as whether Medicaid reimburses providers for all, or part of evidence-based practices; and more.
  3. Consumer & Family Empowerment: D 15% of Total Grade
    Includes measures such as consumer and family access to essential information from the state, promotion of consumer-run programs, and family and peer education and support.
  4. Community Integration and Social Inclusion: D 15% of Total Grade
    Includes activities that require collaboration among state mental health agencies and other state agencies and systems.


  • Capital Area Human Service District mobile health unit
  • "Road Home" program housing allocation for people with serious mental illness
  • Co-occurring disorders provider training and service access

Urgent Needs

  • Expand crisis, inpatient, and community services
  • Finance mental health services under Medicaid
  • Address mental health workforce shortage

Additional Information and Resources

Full Narrative (PDF) | Detailed Score Card (PDF) | Full Report | Order Hard Copy

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Grading the States 2006 Report Card: Louisiana

"A great deal of money and human suffering could be spared if ADEQUATE resources were put into prevention and management of mental illness rather than waiting until the person needs to be hospitalized."