Agency History

The Louisiana State Legislature established the South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority (SCLHSA) through Act 449 to provide administration, management and operation of mental health, addictive disorders, and developmental disability services to the residents of Assumption, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, and Terrebonne parishes. The three programs were transferred to the SCLHSA in July of 2010 after completion of the four-phase Readiness Assessment Process mandated for Local Governing Entities (LGE’s) by the legislature and the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). The Mission of the South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority (SCLHSA) is to promote overall health within the general population by increasing public awareness and access for individuals with behavioral health and developmental disabilities to integrated primary care while promoting wellness, recovery and independence through education and the choice of a broad range of programmatic and community resources.

The SCLHSA was created to be responsive to the local needs of the citizens in its respective parishes. It strives to identify and address local needs through partnerships with local governments, clients, advocates and providers. At the heart of this multi-parish agency is greater accountability to consumers, the community and the taxpayers. The Local Governing Entity (LGE) concept shifts policy authority and fiscal responsibility from the Louisiana Department of Health central office to a locally nominated governing board representing each of the Authority’s seven parishes. The SCLHSA Vision is to become the Center for integrated Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Services in South Central Louisiana by focusing on person centered treatment that reflects the total mind and body needs by implementing a collaboration of public and private services, creative resource allocation and advocating for the provision of efficient, effective quality care to the people we serve.

The governance of SCLHSA is conducted by a nine (9) member Board of Directors representing the seven parish catchment area. The Board is comprised of two representatives from the parishes of Lafourche and Terrebonne and one representative from the parishes of Assumption, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist and St. Mary. Each board member is appointed by the governing authority of his/her parish and must possess experience in the areas of mental health, addictive disorders, or developmental disabilities representing caregivers, consumers,, advocacy groups, or serve as a professional in one of those areas. The Administration of the SCLHSA is headed by an Executive Director, who is selected by the Board of Directors. The Executive Team comprised of the Deputy Director, Chief Financial Officer and Directors of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, Human Resources, and Information Technology Directors support the Executive Director in day-to-day operations. All SCLHSA employees are committed to providing the highest quality care to enable individuals to realize the goals of resiliency and recovery in dealing with behavioral health and developmental disability issues.

The SCLHSA serves a large diverse population in its seven parish catchment area. The geographical area covers over 31,297 square miles and contains a population of approximately 406,000 individuals. Of this population, the SCLHSA has an inherent responsibility to the medically indigent (e.g.– the uninsured and under-insured and those with Medicaid) and all individuals who present at our sites in crisis or in need of other services. The SCLHSA patient population consists of children (ages 6-12), adolescents (ages 13-17), adults and geriatrics. The patient population is approximately one-third Caucasian, one-third African American and one-third Native American with a growing number of patients of Southwest Asian and Hispanic descent.

The SCLHSA utilizes community stakeholders and volunteers to assist in fulfilling the Mission and Vision adopted by the Board. The SCLHSA partners with community agencies (Gulf Coast Family Teaching Services, START Corporation, Assisi Bridge House, Claire House, Bergeron Transportation, etc.) and other healthcare entities (Chabert Medical Center, District Courts, Juvenile Justice, Sheriff Offices, etc.) to foster cooperative endeavors that benefit the behavioral health population in the community. SCLHSA’s intent is to provide community-based services, residential services, and continuity of care for the prevention, detection, treatment, rehabilitation, and follow-up care of mental/emotional illness and addictive disorders to include alcohol, drug abuse and gambling and to be responsible for the community-based programs and functions relating to the care, diagnosis, training, treatment, case management and education of the developmentally disabled. SCLHSA operates the only interdisciplinary team of outpatient clinic settings for behavioral health disorders and developmental disabilities services in the seven parish catchment area.

The SCLHSA provides services for eligible and priority populations taking into consideration resource availability, as well as state and local needs and priorities. Anyone is eligible for services from 6 years of age and older who experiences a major mental illness, such as schizophrenia, a bipolar disorder or major depression, which has required repeated acute treatment and which has interfered with completing school, getting and keeping a job, living independently, and having satisfying personal relationships. SCLHSA has implemented core and targeted services which are available statewide and uses system of care principles and practices when serving children and youth and uses recovery principles and practices when serving adults which behavioral health and developmental disabilities.

The SCLHSA endeavors to enable individuals to utilize the health care system to achieve their optimal level of physical, emotional and social well-being. We help individuals and their families deal with problems related to illness, treatment and recovery. The relationship between psychosocial factors and illness is addressed with clients and their families and its application serves as the basis for our person centered therapeutic technique. By assisting our clients in utilizing the health care system, community agencies and his/her own resources; we hope to provide them with the continuity of care while pursuing the goal of wellness.