For many years, the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital (NOAH) was an institution that stood at the center of New Orleans’ mental health service system for children and youth. The closing of NOAH in 2009 created a significant fissure in this system. Two bills filed in the current legislative session have reignited discussion around NOAH and the services it provided.
HB 595 requires Children’s Hospital to use NOAH for mental health services, and, if Children’s Hospital refused to do so, would allow for Ochsner to lease the facility. If Ochsner declined to offer mental health services, the property would be put out to bid.
We at the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans, a leading nonprofit mental health agency providing counseling and intervention services to some of the community’s neediest children, encourage legislators to examine the bills before them carefully with the needs of our children in mind.