WASHINGTON – This afternoon, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) toured the Safe Haven Campus in Mandeville. The campus provides services to help people with mental illness or substance use disorders. Cassidy visited the Safe Haven Crisis Receiving Center and other buildings on campus. He was also shown the buildings Safe Haven plans to renovate for housing veterans who need their services.
“There are major issues affecting every community include addiction, homelessness, and addressing the needs of those with serious mental illness,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This is St. Tammany’s attempt to do so, but to extend beyond this parish, and to all the Florida Parishes, and even beyond. It is good work that will benefit us all.”
Cassidy was welcomed by St. Tammany Parish President Michael B. Cooper and other staff for St. Tammany Parish Government. The Safe Haven campus is owned by the parish government and began operations in 2012.
“The Safe Haven campus is a foundational component to access to behavioral health care for citizens in St. Tammany as well as the region,” said St. Tammany Parish President Michael B. Cooper. “I am glad Senator Cassidy was able to tour Safe Haven and discuss ways we can work together to make the vision for the campus a reality.”
Cassidy has been a leader in improving mental health services. Late last year, he successfully included his Mental Health Parity Compliance Act in a government funding agreement signed into law by President Trump. That legislation helps consumers gain access to mental health and substance use services in their health care plans. It also strengthens issuer compliance with mental health parity laws.
Additionally in 2016, he successfully included his bi-partisan Mental Health Reform Act in the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law by President Obama. Among other provisions, the legislation strengthened the transparency and enforcement of mental health parity protections, encouraged the integration of physical and mental health, improved access to mental health care for children, and created an Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use.
Finally, this year the Senate passed his bi-partisan Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which would help prevent burnout, suicide, and other mental and behavioral health issues in health care workers. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted these challenges that health care workers face.