Saturday, June 16, 2007



I was driving home after a visit with friends when I saw these signs on the lawns of some pretty nice homes...

I immediately did a u-turn and drove back to read the sign as the "NO" was pretty implicit. I was intrigued. I then drove around and took a few photo's of where I saw the signs placed and of the mostly empty buildings nearby.

These houses sit nearby the DePaul Tulane Behavioral Health Center - which upon further reading, I have found that this mental health hospital has been here as long as or before these homes were even built.

When I returned home I did a little research on the Internet and found a few stories to share with you.

Rumors have been circulating for a while now that DePaul - Tulane Behavioral Health Center (presently owned by HCA - Hospital Corporation of America) is not going to reopen following hurricane Katrina. 11/9/2005 Mental Health Blog

DePaul Hospital is one of the nation's oldest psychiatric hospitals. Started in 1861 by the
Sisters of Charity, it lies on a beautiful 13 acre uptown campus near Audubon Park. During its heyday people came from all over the world to get treated for mental illness by some of the most respected psychiatrists around. Since merging with Tulane University, and then HCA, it has become a well respected teaching hospital. DePaul-Tulane Behavioral Health Center has served to treat the public and educate students of all backgrounds - from medical students and residents, to nurses, social workers, and art therapists, for years now.

Recently, DePaul employees have been getting phone calls from HCA representatives offering them an ultimatum - severance packages, or job placement at other HCA facilities.

HCA has been generous enough to keep all of its employees on payroll, as long as they call to check in, since the storm; and many were hoping to return following the aftermath.

The DePaul facility did suffer some damage to the administration building and its Lancaster building, but repairs are actually in the process of being made, and the damage is not believed to be the reason the facility will not be reopened. Read more...

300 Beds Lost in NewOrleans:

"The lack of hospital beds, and the distances police must travel to find them, has spread law enforcement resources thin at a time when the NOPD is already strapped in trying to deal with rising crime. More and more mentally ill patients are winding up in jail, for lack of treatment options.

Today the largest psychiatric facility in the region is at Orleans Parish Prison, with 60 acute-care beds. Today the largest psychiatric facility in the region is at Orleans Parish Prison, with 60 acute-care beds." Read more...

New Orleans Feels Pain of Mental Health Crisis

NEW ORLEANS — Sixteen months after Hurricane Katrina tore this city apart, a hidden sort of damage is emerging. Local officials see it in reports of suicides, strokes and stress-related deaths. They see it in the police calls for fights and domestic violence. They see it in the long waiting lists for psychiatric care that they have no way to provide.

These days, life in the Big Easy isn't easy at all. Everyone from the mayor to the people staffing the public health clinics sees it: New Orleans is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis — and the city has no way to deal with it. Read more...


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