Register for MHSD’s (Free!) Virtual Health and Wellness Fair
Mar 08 2021

Register for MHSD’s (Free!) Virtual Health and Wellness Fair

By: Laurel Shimasaki

The Metropolitan Human Services District is holding its 3rd quarter Health & Wellness Fair on March 11, 2021. This hour-long webinar will begin at 1 p.m. It is a public event in partnership with other community agencies to share resources and services with a focus on COVID-19. Registration for the free webinar is now open.

Located on the Westbank on 3100 General De Gaulle Dr., MHSD serves individuals in Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes who are living with mental illness, addictive disorders, and intellectual/developmental disabilities. With a mission of "person-centered supports and services," MHSD serves all ages from childhood onward. In addition to scheduled appointments, MHSD has a 24-hour crisis hotline that you can reach at 504-826-2675.

"Mental Illness is on the Rise in the U.S. for a Frustrating Reason," a March 2021 headline on Health.com said. In it, Judith Weissman, Ph.D. and research manager at NYU Langone Medical Center, said that "part of the problem is that people with mental illness have a harder time navigating the complex healthcare industry to begin with."

To that end, MHSD has a clear section on its website devoted to finding out if you qualify. Click on "Do You Qualify?" near the bottom of the home page and you'll be taken to a short questionnaire. The questions are:


Are you a resident of Orleans, Plaquemines, or St. Bernard Parish?

Are you Uninsured or Medicaid eligible?

Do you suffer from mental illness, addiction, or suspect an intellectual/physical impairment that occurred before the age of 22?


If you answer yes to all three, an orange box pops up to inform you of eligibility.

The rise of mental health awareness has been propelled into the mainstream by social media. It's an ironic twist: the platforms that normalized conversations about what was once considered taboo personal struggles are the same platforms that are under fire for being corrosive to mental well-being.

Log on to Instagram in 2021 and you will find no shortage of inspirational quote inspo. Then, there are trendy sunset gradient carousels designed on Canva that are full of mental health tips and tricks to help people cope with anxiety. It has been normal for people to share quotes from therapists in their Stories for so long that there are now certified psychologist and psychotherapist influencers posting their wisdom for free. And while all can be life-altering and eye-opening, Instagram isn't a substitute for meeting with a licensed mental health professional of your own.

If you're interested in attending the webinar, you can also check out MHSD's recent YouTube video to help address mental health during challenging times. Should you decide to sign up to attend the live webinar, come prepared with questions, as MHSD will open the floor for a Q&A session.

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