COVID-19 Outbreak Delaying Essential Mental Health Care, Creating Backlog of Need

Apr 15th, 2020

Local behavioral health hospital expands telehealth options in light of pandemic

NEW ORLEANS (April 14, 2020) – One in five Americans suffers from some form of mental illness in their life. With 6.6 million recently laid off due to the coronavirus outbreak, the country could see an increase in those struggling with mental health issues.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt daily routines, people struggling with behavioral health issues are at increased risk of halting or postponing treatment as a result of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Additionally, individuals who might normally receive mental health intervention during an ER admission or routine physical exam are likely not receiving those services due to the outbreak. This is creating a growing backlog of individuals who will need treatment for exacerbated conditions in the post-coronavirus future.

Oceans Behavioral Hospital Greater New Orleans, a local provider of behavioral health treatment for adults 18 and older, is taking steps to ensure uninterrupted access to essential mental health services using telehealth options. Health care and senior care providers may now request phone or video consultations for their patients or residents, while outpatient programs have moved to conducting individual and group therapies virtually.

“The coronavirus outbreak is disrupting our lives and delaying essential mental health care for individuals who need it most,” said Deborah Spiers, administrator at Oceans Behavioral Hospital Greater New Orleans. “Social distancing and quarantine can cause feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, and people who have a history of mental illness can find these circumstances particularly difficult to manage. While we must temporarily adjust how we provide care, there are still ways we can support those struggling with behavioral health issues.”

A provider of essential health care services, Oceans Greater New Orleans remains open for inpatient and outpatient treatment and has implemented the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for screening, testing and infection control. However, many people who are not in need of inpatient care may prefer to communicate electronically. Oceans’ secure telehealth options aim to minimize unnecessary physical contact while maintaining the same high standard of care.

Oceans Behavioral Hospital Greater New Orleans has three campuses located in Kenner, Gretna and Marrero. To make a referral or request more information about treatment options call 504-464-8895 or visit


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