03.26.12 In late summer 2010, state health officials trumpeted the opening of a specialized mental health unit at LSU's Earl K. Long Medical Center to relieve stress on area hospital emergency rooms.
Now, less than two years later, the facility operates at half capacity. Health-care officials blame Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget cuts.
The bed closures at the Mental Health Emergency Room Extension, or MHERE, come at a time of increased need as the number of those with behavioral health problems continue to climb, said Jan Kasofsky, executive director of the Capital Area Human Services District, called CAHSD.