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  • Ann Tucker

For Louisiana Children and Teens in Crisis, Inpatient Help is Often Hours from Home

The Advocate [5/09] - Seeing her daughter Vivienne strapped to a hospital gurney, Linda felt angry, powerless. After hours spent in a room with a concrete slab for a bed, more akin to a prison cell than a hospital room in its protective austerity, her daughter was to be transported from Ochsner Lafayette General Hospital to a 200-bed mental health hospital in Shreveport, 213 miles away. [...]

Inpatient resources for patients younger than 18 are scarce across Louisiana. Of the 45 hospitals with inpatient beds listed on the Louisiana Health Department’s website, only 12 accept minors for inpatient treatment. In Acadiana, many families looking for inpatient care for a child or adolescent are likely to find themselves in the same situation as Linda and Vivienne, who asked to keep their last name private. There are few resources available locally, which means getting help often entails sending a young person in crisis to facilities out of the area, hours away from their home, friends and family. Cont.

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