BATON ROUGE – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today toured the Bridge Center for Hope, to learn more about their services for individuals 18 year or older in East Baton Rouge Parish who are facing a mental health crisis or substance abuse challenge.
“One way or another, society addresses mental health issues. We can identify them early and return people in crisis to wholeness, or society can pay for it when those with serious mental illness ultimately end up in jail.” said Dr. Cassidy. “The Bridge Center for Hope is helping us make a difference in Baton Rouge. We are grateful for their work.”
In 2016, Cassidy helped pass into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which included his Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. The Mental Health Reform Act reauthorized successful grant programs, integrated physical and mental health care, strengthened the enforcement of mental health parity laws, and created an Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use to ensure grant dollars are used wisely.
Additionally, Cassidy supported the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act last year, and has introduced legislation to expand peer counseling and promote compliance with mental health parity laws.
Cassidy was joined on his tour of the Bridge Center by leadership and staff at the Bridge Center for Hope, who provided an overview of the services they provide.
“We were deeply honored to spend time with Senator Cassidy at the Bridge Center for Hope in East Baton Rouge,” said Mr. Paul Galdys, Deputy CEO of RI International, which runs the Bridge Center. “His commitment to fiscally responsible healthcare focused on achieving real-life outcomes in the lives of our community members gives us all hope for a better future. We appreciate Senator Cassidy’s congressional leadership and insights into how our nation can shift from a justice system response to one of care for individuals in mental health and substance use crisis; translating into healthier, safer, more productive and prosperous communities.”