Teachers and education support staff will benefit from increased access to mental health care

BATON ROUGE – A new program will give Louisiana teachers and support staff better access to mental health care services, according to a recent announcement from the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE).

LDOE says it is partnering with Ochsner Health to launch a virtual therapy program that will facilitate free mental health virtual tours.

More than 166,000 educators and support staff in public schools statewide will have access to free virtual mental health tours through Ochsner Anywhere Care – an established telehealth platform where patients can connect with a health provider mental / behavioral accredited via a secure video visit from their smartphone, tablet or personal computer.

State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Cade Brumley, issued a statement on the matter, saying, “Louisiana educators have done hero work during a pandemic and one of the hurricane seasons. most active ever recorded for our state. They have been there for our children and families during this stressful year, and this partnership with Ochsner is one way we can be there for them.

In a Tuesday May 4 press release, LDOE said: “Educating children and serving families during this unprecedented school year, while simultaneously balancing personal and family needs, has taken a toll on educators, administrators. and Louisiana school support staff. Almost 40% of young children’s educators in Louisiana responded to a survey reporting clinically relevant signs of depression (Hechinger Report, August 2020). “

The press release continued: “The three-year, million-dollar initiative is funded by LDOE through allocations from the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund (GEER) to meet the needs of mental and behavioral health issues that educators may face in light of covid pandemics19. “

The Louisiana Virtual Therapy for Educators program will cover four virtual therapy visits for teachers and support staff at Louisiana public schools in all K-12 school systems and child care centers. infancy serving children from birth to four years old.

This includes all public and traditional public charter schools. Additional tours beyond the first four covered by the program will be available at a reduced rate.

An Ochsner Anywhere Care virtual therapy session is similar to an office visit, but in the comfort of home via a secure video appointment with an authorized provider on a computer, smartphone or tablet.

During the appointment, patients will be asked about current symptoms, medical history and treatment goals. Using this information, the provider will assess the situation and recommend a treatment plan.

Ochsner Anywhere Care is designed to be a private, secure, HIPAA-compliant tool that allows patients to consult a provider online securely and in privacy.

LDOE says educators who qualify for the program should connect with their local school system for more information, including how to enroll.

For more information, click here or visit www.louisianabelieves.com.

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