As a mental-health professional and president and CEO of the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans, I stand with my colleagues to salute our state legislators, Reps. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans; Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans; Walt Leger, D-New Orleans; and Jared Brossett, D-New Orleans; for working together with Children’s Hospital to broker substitute House Bill 595 this week to ensure additional mental-health services are brought back to our community as Children’s Hospital purchases the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital (NOAH).

For many years, NOAH was an institution that stood at the center of New Orleans’ mental-health service system for children and youth. The closing of NOAH in 2009 created a significant fissure in this system.

Working on the front lines every day, I know firsthand that there is a tremendous need in our community for quality mental-health services that address a diverse array of treatment needs. We saw Children’s Hospital’s leadership and commitment to delivering the best for our children shine through this week. We look forward to working with them moving forward to develop a more-comprehensive mental health-care system for children and families in our community.

Paulette Carter, president, CEO

Children’s Bureau of New Orleans

New Orleans