Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 10/09/2020

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Natural Disasters May Increase Risk of Substance Abuse in Louisiana

In August of 2016, over 1,500 homes, businesses, and other structures were damaged due to serious flooding in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana.

A Storm of Historic Proportions

Tom Carrol, Lafayette City-Parish Public Works Director, labeled the event as a storm of “historic proportions,” and described the process for debris removal that would end up taking several weeks. Many residents from Lafayette Parish and surrounding areas whose homes and businesses were damaged were displaced due to the storm, and were encouraged to register their damage with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov even if they were not insured.

The High Cost of Displacement

Natural disasters like severe storms and hurricanes can do more than damage buildings and properties. When one is forced to evacuate his or her home and community due to unsafe conditions, he or she will likely experience high levels of instability and upheaval.

Housing insecurity is but one factor of displacement that is known to cause an uptick in stress during natural disasters and other traumatic events. But before one can even begin tackling the tasks associated with returning home (like assessing damage, filing insurance claims, making repairs, etc.), one must first wait out the storm, both literally and figuratively.

Storms and Stress

During Hurricane Katrina, it was well document that substance use rates rose in populations who lived in the affected areas. According to research collected during and after the storm, the tragic loss of life and loss of homes and property seemed to drive many people towards chemical dependence as a means of coping with the acute stress they were feeling at the time.

And while the relationship between trauma and addiction is well documented, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is warning emergency response personnel that victims of natural disasters may be at particular risk for developing a substance use disorder in the aftermath of storms.

Rebuilding Hope

When it comes time to rebuild communities after a natural disaster, much focus is understandably placed on reconstructing utilities and buildings, repairing lost modes of transportation and infrastructure, and increasing access to medical services and other public safety needs.

However, all these efforts can be thwarted if widespread substance abuse takes its toll on affected communities. In light of this information, public health officials in Lafayette Parish and across the state of Louisiana are working on new programming that will make preventing, as well as treating substance abuse, priorities in the wake of future natural disasters.