October 23, 2018

NEXT WEEK: Cassidy Hosts Louisiana Mental Health Summit

Baton Rouge—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), will host the Louisiana Mental Health Summit on Tuesday, October 30, bringing together federal, state, and local leaders to discuss and promote the implementation of proven methods to improve mental health care in Louisiana and the country.

Members of the media wishing to attend and receive information regarding media availabilities must RSVP to Ty_Bofferding@cassidy.senate.gov.

Guest speakers for the event include City of Baton Rouge/EBRP Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, best-selling author Pete Earley, and representatives from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). A full list of speakers is below.

Dr. Cassidy is a passionate leader for improving mental health care. Cassidy introduced the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act, landmark legislation to reform our country’s broken mental health system that was signed into law in 2016. Cassidy is working to ensure the law is fully implemented, and urged the Trump Administration to enforce federal mental health parity laws. He also introduced bipartisan legislation earlier this year to give schools more resources to address mental health.


Louisiana Mental Health Summit Hosted by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

8:00 AM – 2:30 PM CT


Pennington Biomedical Research Center

6400 Perkins Road

Baton Rouge, LA 70808



8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.



9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Welcome and Keynote Address

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome

Pete Earley, Best-Selling Author and Mental Health Advocate



10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Addressing Mental Health: Understanding the Federal Role

Moderated by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.

Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Institute of Mental Health

Cynthia Kemp, Deputy Director at Of?ce of the Medical Of?cer, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Ruby Qazilbash, Associate Deputy Director at Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice


11:30 a.m.  – 12:45 p.m.

Addressing Mental Health: the Importance of Creative, Community Based Solutions

Moderated by Judge Marilyn Castle

Margie Balfour, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Clinical Innovation and Quality, Connections Health Solutions

Jelynne LeBlanc Burley, President and Chief Executive Of?cer, The Center for Health Care Services, Bexar County

Judge Calvin Johnson (ret.), Chief Judge (ret.), Orleans Parish Criminal District Court



1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Addressing Mental Health: Connecting the Dots Locally

Breakout Lunch 1: De-escalation upon arrest, but disagreement as to what to do next?

Breakout Lunch 2: Breaking the cycle of crime with specialty courts

Breakout Lunch 3: Re-integrating the mentally ill and addicted into society