New adolescent behavioral health unit will serve St. Charles residents

The hospital will treat adolescents who struggle with conditions like ADHD, PSTD and anxiety.

A new adolescent unit at River Place Behavioral Health Hospital has officially opened to treat adolescents age 12-17 who struggle with conditions like depression, ADHD, posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Located in LaPlace, hospital officials said they expect to treat approximately 400 patients per year at this 22-inpatient bed unit. The unit will be staffed by five physicians, seven nurse practitioners and physician assistants and several support staff. Once fully staffed, the unit will add 40 positions to the facility.

Ochsner Health partnered with Acadia Healthcare, a national leader in behavioral healthcare services, in 2018 to open River Place Behavioral Health, an 82-bed inpatient facility. Through the joint venture, Acadia manages the hospital while Ochsner psychiatrists and providers deliver inpatient behavioral health services to adults and adolescents across the greater New Orleans area, including St. Charles Parish.

“We are thrilled to open this new unit,” Dr. Dean Hickman, psychiatry system chair at Ochsner Health and medical director at River Place Behavioral Health, said. “Across Louisiana, we have a lack of inpatient beds to treat our young patients with behavioral health concerns, and this region is no different. Now, more young people will be able to receive treatment without having to travel great distances.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in five children in the United States have a mental health disorder, with most mental health conditions beginning by age 14. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for children ages 12-17, making treatment at this age critically important.

Ochsner officials said the demand for care is significant, however there have historically been far fewer inpatients beds available than adolescent patients seeking care statewide.

Treatment in this adolescent program may include basic medical care along with individual, family and group therapy sessions. Officials said the typical length of stay in the unit is seven to 10 days, though this will vary depending on each adolescent’s specific concerns and goals. Before completing the program, a care team will provide each young person and their family with aftercare planning that defines the next steps in the healing process.

“We’re excited to provide adolescent care for our community with the opening of our new unit,” Jeremy Pitzer, CEO of River Place Behavioral Health, said. “We understand how important it is for children and teens to receive age-specific behavioral health treatment, and we’re committed to working closely with parents or guardians to ensure that they are thoroughly involved in their child’s care.”

River Place Behavioral Health offers outdoor areas for recreation – including an outdoor basketball court for the adolescent unit. Patients also have access to a group room with a foosball table and a private dining/multi-purpose room.

“Ochsner is proud to continue partnering with Acadia Healthcare to provide even more services to patients in the River Parishes region,” Stephen Robinson, CEO of the Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner and the River Region, said. “Behavioral health is critically important, and we are committed to enhancing care for patients of all ages.”

River Place Behavioral Health Hospital is located at 500 Rue de Sante in LaPlace. For more information visit


About Monique Roth 919 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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