BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)–As Teacher Appreciation Week winds down, a new virtual therapy program is on its way to over 150,000 educators across the state.
The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) and Ochsner launched a new virtual therapy program just for educators.
Ochsner Health Director of Consumer Telehealth Ryan Pattison says, “Where we see a lot of educators put their own mental health and well-being on the backburner. We are really trying to create a solution possible for their own self-care.”
This comes amid Mental Health Awareness Month and Teacher Appreciation Week.
Pattison says, ‘A survey had gone out across the entire state for the educators and found that nearly 40 percent of our state educators are showing signs of depression post-pandemic.”
LDOE Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Opportunity Asst. Superintendent Dr. Kelli Peterson said, ‘We felt like it’s really important to make sure in this place and time that we prioritize the mental health of our educators.”
They said this program is funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) and is specifically designed to meet the needs of teachers.
“These providers have specific time tailored to our educator’s schedules. So, initial data shows since our launch yesterday, that we see visits being conducted before school hours, after school hours, late in the night and we even have availability on weekends,” says Pattison.
For educators and support staff, meeting with a therapist will be just a few clicks away with this new virtual option.
They said you just log on to the Ochsner Anywhere Care app to book your appointment.
Pattison says, “We launched yesterday and we are already seeing great results. We’ve had over a hundred educators already book accounts and book appointments. We have some who have already done their virtual visits. ”
“And they have up to four sessions that will be 100 percent free and 100 percent confidential,” says Dr. Peterson.
To get more information about the Ochsner Anywhere Care App, click here.