July 28, 2010

Coalition Launches Toll-Free Mental Health Information Resource Line for Gulf Coast Residents

Free phone line connects Louisianians to support, educational materials and resources

The Our Home, Louisiana Coalition – founded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana toimprove the health and welfare of Louisianians affected by the crisis in the Gulf – has launched a toll-free Information Resource Line provided and staffed by coalition partner Magellan Behavioral Health, a division of Magellan Health Services.

The toll-free Information Resource Line, 800.424.1856, is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT on weekdays, excluding holidays. The resource line provides Louisiana coastal residents affected by the oil spill with help in coping with this ongoing situation by providing access to educational materials, support agencies and additional community resources. 

Magellan Behavioral Health is the nation’s leading behavioral health care management company, delivering innovative solutions in collaboration with health plans, corporations and government agencies to more than 38 million members nationwide. The company’s care management programs are based on a clinical philosophy of providing timely access to high-quality, clinically appropriate, affordable services tailored to members’ individual needs in order to promote total health and wellness.

The Our Home, Louisiana Coalition, founded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana in June in response to the BP oil spill, kicked off “Phase 1” of its efforts with a series of 12 Coastal Care Fairs in seven parishes. The last fair will be held this Friday, July 30, in Boothville from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Boothville-Venice Elementary School. Magellan Behavioral Health is one of the Coalition partners and has provided mental health screening and educational information at the Fairs. Magellan and other partners also have provided educational materials for download from the Coalition website as well as information about additional resources.

More information on the Coalition, the partners and the Coastal Care Fairs is available at as well as at and

“We see the launch of this Information Resource Line as the beginning of ‘Phase 2’ of the Coalition’s support for the Gulf Coast region,” said John Maginnis, vice president of corporate communications at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. “The situation is changing almost daily, but the No. 1 thing people are telling us they need is mental health support – access to counseling, help in talking to their kids, help with their employees.”

Maginnis said that the Coalition will continue to expand its website offerings. Several of the Coalition partners, including Blue Cross, have been surveying affected families along the coast to determine their long-term needs and seek ways to address them. On the Coalition Facebook page at, visitors can join in online discussions about what Louisiana coastal residents need.

“Just like we were with Hurricane Katrina, we and our Coalition partners will be here for the long haul,” Maginnis said.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. BCBSLA is a not-for-profit, fully taxed mutual insurer, owned by policyholders and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The company provides group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than 1.2 million members. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,800 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company’s website at or on Facebook at Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at and CEO Mike Reitz at