“Parity or Disparity: The State of Mental Health in America, 2015” a report issued by Mental Health America, ranks Louisiana with the highest prevalence of behavioral health concerns and the lowest access to mental health care.

The Advocate reported that since the Glory House group home “… is categorized by the state as an apartment building and not a medical facility, it met Fire Department standards.”

According to Amelia Burns, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Hospitals, “the facility did not provide ‘care’ services … so it was not licensed by or under the supervision of DHH.”

Lenard Grimes died in that fire. His mother, Nellie Grimes, believes that he was “unaware of the fire, as he was on medication he complained put him in a deep sleep.”

According to the website of Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health Mental Health Services, there are two state in-patient medical facilities for the mentally ill.

In Louisiana, how many private facilities house but “do not provide care” for the mentally ill? Does the state or East Baton Rouge Parish require any licensing or oversight of buildings that house mentally ill people?

Anne Legett

retired librarian

Baton Rouge