State’s teachers getting free mental health virtual visits under Ochsner partnership

    The Louisiana Department of Education is partnering with Ochsner Health to launch a free virtual therapy program for public school teachers and support staff. 

    According to an LDOE announcement, more than 166,000 public school educators and support staff statewide will have now access to free mental health virtual visits through Ochsner Anywhere Care—a telehealth platform in which patients can connect with a licensed mental/behavioral health provider via a secure video visit from their smartphone, tablet or computer.

    Educating children and serving families during the past two unprecedented school years, while simultaneously balancing personal and family needs has taken a toll on Louisiana educators, administrators and school support staff. Nearly 40% of early childhood educators in Louisiana responded to a survey reporting clinically relevant signs of depression. 

    The three-year, million-dollar initiative is funded by the LDOE through allocations from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to be responsive to the mental and behavioral health needs educators may be facing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The therapy program for educators will cover four virtual therapy visits for Louisiana public school teachers and staff at all K-12 school systems and early child care centers that serve children from birth to age four. This includes all traditional public and public charter schools. Additional visits beyond the initial four covered by the program will be available at a discounted rate. See the announcement