A community meeting has been scheduled for March 20 in Lafayette to allow citizens in the bayou region of the state to discuss the area’s mental health care needs. Consumers of mental health services and health care providers are invited to attend.

Scheduled for Monday, March 20, the meeting is from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. in the Clifton Chenier Center,  200 West Willow St., Building. C, Town Hall Auditorium.

The meeting continues Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s and the Department of Health and Hospitals’ commitment to the development and implementation of Louisiana’s Plan for Access to Mental Health Services. LDH is working with each of the local Regional Health Care Consortia as community input is sought.

Gov. Blanco’s commitment to improving mental health was formalized in an executive order signed last year that charged LDH and other agencies to develop a mental health plan for Louisiana. The planning process includes various statewide task forces, councils, commissions and other bodies that have convened to address issues related to mental health. The executive order requests that these agencies seek input “from a broad range of stakeholders, including consumers, family members, advocates and private health care providers.

Specific items that will be discussed at the meeting include the coordination of services, access to and the availability of services, ensuring effective services and supports and the financing of these services.

The public is invited to attend this community meeting. To register, or to receive more information, contact Alice Landry at alandry2@dhh.la.gov or (337) 262-1571 or Dr. Tina Stefanski at jstefans@dhh.la.gov or (337) 262-5311.