Northeast Delta HSA & Tensas Parish Community Opened Dialogue to Discuss Needed Services

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Town Hall Meeting Conducted at Tensas Parish Community Centerto address needs of rural citizens

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"As shared with community leaders and citizens alike, we are keeping the promise to deliver access to quality mental health, addictive disorder and developmental disabilities services,” said Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, NE Delta HSA Executive Director.

Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (Northeast Delta HSA) held a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, September 30 at the Tensas Parish Community Center at 107 Arts Drive in St. Joseph, Louisiana to open a dialogue about mental health, addictive disorder and developmental disabilities needs and services in the Parish.

NE Delta HSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A. Sizer hosted the Town Hall meeting along with Tensas Parish community leaders. The meeting included a panel of local elected officials and businesspeople and a question & answer session. “I cannot emphasize enough how committed we are to addressing the mental health, addictive disorder and developmental disability needs of citizens in our rural communities,” said Dr. Sizer. “We serve as a catalyst to bring disparate groups together to discover how we can jointly find solutions to meet citizens’ needs,” he said. “Louisiana Center Against Poverty (LACAP), The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana and Mental Health America of Louisiana participated in the Town Hall and accepted our call to action. These groups are as committed as NE Delta HSA to solve critical problems in rural parishes. Working together, we will find solutions.”

Tensas Parish Sheriff Ricky A. Jones, Tensas Fire Chief & Deputy Coroner Ricky Jones, Tensas Community Health Center CEO Jackie Shauf and Precision Care Director Gwendolyn Bynum served as meeting panelists and discussed current behavioral health issues and possible solutions with advocacy groups and citizens. “This collaboration with NE Delta HSA is an important building block to accomplish our goal of providing solid, patient-centered care and greatly needed services for the citizens of Tensas Parish,” said Schauf.

At the meeting, Sheriff Jones candidly addressed guests and spoke of the importance of citizens’ involvement in NE Delta HSA’s efforts. “We appreciated the community’s participation at the Town Hall,” said Sheriff Jones. “It takes everybody working together to accomplish a goal and to better our community.”

“As shared with community leaders and citizens alike throughout northeastern Louisiana, we are actively delivering on promises we’ve made to ensure that our region has access to quality mental health, addictive disorder and developmental disabilities services,” said Sizer. “We help connect the dots so that people can even further engage in their own lives.”

The timing of the Tensas Parish Town Hall concludes NE Delta HSA’s involvement, but not its commitment, with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSHA) National Recovery Month. This event was a month-long, nationwide celebration of recovery. This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out,” encourages people to openly speak up about mental and substance use disorders and the reality of recovery, and promotes ways individuals can recognize behavioral health issues and reach out for help. Northeast Delta HSA conducted a variety of activities in September to celebrate and support National Recovery Month in our own region, culminating in hosting this Town Hall meeting on September 30.

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Jill Hirsekorn
Northeast Delta Human Services Authority
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