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Orleans Parish Healing-Centered Cultural Continuum

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $750,000)

In the city of New Orleans, the current continuum of care and treatment for youth suffering from mental health and substance use disorders upon reentry is recidivism. In November 2019, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a federal class action lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Health asserting that the State of Louisiana has failed to provide mental health services to its Medicaid-eligible children and families. The suit states that the state health department has, by its own admission, failed to provide an accessible public behavioral health system of intensive home and community-based mental health services (IHCBS) - including: intensive coordination, crisis services, and intensive behavioral services and supports - necessary to correct or ameliorate their mental illnesses or conditions, to 47,500 children and youth under the age of 21 who have been diagnosed with a mental illness or condition and who require such services.


Orleans Parish Juvenile Court (OPJC) handles dependency and delinquency cases within the Orleans Parish jurisdiction. OPJC proposes the Orleans Parish Healing Centered Cultural Continuum (OPHCCC) and the New Orleans' first Youth Mental Health Court (YMHC). The OPHCCC draws upon on a wealth of evidence-based research and local indigenous knowledge to demonstrate the effectiveness of positive youth development, family empowerment, community engagement, restorative justice, and other culturally appropriate, strength-based approaches to reach youth and families severely impacted by intergenerational trauma, disinvestment and marginalization. 


Applying a positive youth development framework, the YMHC will enlist 90-100 system-involved youth exhibiting a mental health illness and/or substance use disorder. Participants will access appropriate medical care and treatment provided institutional and community providers pre- post release. Credible messenger mentors will employ transformative mentoring and family support specialist programming working as part of a multi-disciplinary team. In addition to appropriate treatment-healing plans, credible messengers will work with you and families to create and implement life path plans designed to enhance youth development trajectories over 12-24 months.


Program Deliverables include the following:

100% will receive collaborative comprehensive case management and
100% will receive cognitive behavioral therapy
100% will receive access appropriate care and treatment pre and post-release for at least 12 months
100% will receive a credible messenger transformative mentoring
100% will be provided with system navigation support
100 % will receive transitional support resources
80% will demonstrate positive increase in resilience, effective coping skills and conflict resolution skills
80% will demonstrate a positive increase in frustration tolerance
Less than 10% will recidivate

Date Created: December 15, 2022