THIBODAUX- A community meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 7 to allow citizens in the bayou region of the state to discuss mental health care needs.

The date of the meeting is March 7, from noon until 2 p.m. The meeting will be held at the offices of South Central Planning located at 5058 West Main St. in Gray, Louisiana.

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.

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.

A lunch will be provided for those who make reservations by calling START Corporation before noon on Monday, March 6, 2006.

The public is invited to attend this community meeting. To register, or to receive more information, contact Charles Vandercook, Executive Director of START Corporation, at 985-879-3966 or