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Mental Health & Substance Use

Mental health and substance use treatment are important part of healthcare. If you think you might need mental health or substance use care, please call your doctor or Louisiana Healthcare Connections. We can help provide support, talk to your providers/doctors and connect you with specialists to help you or your child.

You do not have to get a referral from your doctor for these services. You can go to any provider in our network for these services. Providers will assist in helping to figure out what services might best meet your needs.

Louisiana Healthcare Connections covers these services listed below for most members. You can also view more information in our Member Handbook.

Louisiana Healthcare Connections covers necessary hospital visits for our members.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who is trained to treat mental health problems and substance use. Members with mental health issues have access to psychiatrists who can make sure you get the care you need.

If you are having a severe mental health problem or a crisis, you can get help right away.

You may get help at:

  • A hospital emergency room
  • A medical or mental health clinic
  • Where you live, work or go to school
  • Through our 24/7 Crisis Hotline, 1-844-677-7553 (TTY: 711) – A crisis counselor will work with you, your family and your provider to help you get the care you need.

Louisiana Crisis Response System

The Louisiana Department of Health/Office of Behavioral Health (LDH/OBH) has created the Louisiana Crisis Response System. This comprehensive crisis system of care provides more services to individuals in crisis. These services include mobile crisis response, community brief crisis support, behavioral health crisis centers, and crisis stabilization.

As of April 1, 2023, some Louisiana Crisis Response System services are available in five regions:

  • Region 1: Greater New Orleans
  • Region 2: Capital Area (Baton Rouge)
  • Region 3: Bayou Region (Houma / Thibodaux)
  • Region 7: Northwest LA (Shreveport / Bossier)
  • Region 9: Northshore
  • Region 10: Jefferson Parish

The Louisiana Crisis Response System is expanding across the state. We will update this page as services become available in more regions.

Services are available for Medicaid recipients who are:

  • 21 years and older
  • Experiencing emotional distress, and would benefit from response by trained practitioners to get the supports needed to resolve the crisis and stay in the community

To access the Louisiana Crisis Response System, call our 24/7 Crisis Hotline, 1-844-677-7553 (TTY: 711).

Members with mental health or substance use issues may talk to one of our counselors anytime you need help. These counselors are licensed by the State of Louisiana and can be:

  • Doctors
  • Psychologists
  • Medical Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Advanced Practice Nurses (Nurses who are especially skilled in mental health treatment.)

This service provides a place for children (under age 21) to live and get treatment.

This service allows children with mental health issues (under age 21) to live in a home-like setting with a small group of peers to help them feel better, find new friends and do better at home, school and work.

Members with mental illness or substance use issues can get counseling in their home, work or school. This kind of counseling involves:

  • Planning and problem-solving to feel more comfortable and confident with day-to-day living
  • Finding friends and feeling more comfortable with others
  • Learning to avoid things that cause problems
  • Planning your treatment with family members and other helpers

This service is to help members feel healthy and comfortable with other people. This counseling can include family members and other helpers. It may involve:

  • Learning ways to help you feel better and stay better
  • Finding new friends and feeling more comfortable with other people
  • Avoiding things that cause problems
  • Making a plan and taking classes that interest you
  • Help looking for a job

Members with substance use issues can get counseling and treatment to help stop over-using alcohol or drugs. It can include treatment in a residential facility.

Your provider will write a prescription for you if you need medication. If you have questions about your medication, ask the person who prescribes your medications. You may also call Member Services at 1-866-595-8133 (TTY: 711).

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy. It is based on the study of how people learn. ABA may help people under age 21 who have autism spectrum disorders and other behavioral issues.

ABA can help with problem behaviors, such as:

  • not listening or responding to people
  • repeating words or doing the same thing over and over
  • having violent tantrums
  • not cooperating with parents or other people
  • refusing to play with other children
  • self harm

ABA therapy can help people with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. It’s often started in younger children. But ABA may help older children as well. People who receive ABA services may be able to:

  • have better social and play skills
  • communicate better
  • have more positive behaviors
  • have fewer problem behaviors
  • learn new skills
  • do better in school
  • be more independent
  • enjoy a better quality of life

How ABA works

ABA can help a child learn more complex skills. It also encourages positive behaviors using rewards. Each child is different, so the therapy is tailored for each child. Children show a wide range of responses to ABA. Some make a lot of progress with their core symptoms. Others have more subtle improvement. Talk with your health care provider about the best approaches for your child and family.

How to get ABA services

ABA services are covered by Louisiana Healthcare Connections only when provided by a licensed professional, such as a behavioral analyst, psychologist or psychiatrist. ABA services need approval and may not be approved for all members. Before asking for approval, members must complete an evaluation.

Our Care Management team can talk with you about treatment options and help you find resources. They can also connect you to a provider. Just call 1-866-595-8133 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and ask to speak with a Care Manager.

Accessing Services

You can access mental health and substance use services by calling Member Services at 1-866-595-8133 (TTY: 711).

You may go directly to a provider. A member may contact any provider in Louisiana Healthcare Connections’ network for services. The provider will coordinate your care and services. To find a provider, use our Find a Provider tool or call 1-866-595-8133 (TTY: 711).

Crisis Support

You can get help right away if you are having a mental health problem or a crisis. Call our 24/7 Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Hotline at 1-844-677-7553 (TTY: 711) to speak with a licensed mental health counselor.

For life-threatening situations, always call 911.