Private mental health facility serves veterans and citizensFebruary 01, 2014
Louisiana has more than 300,000 registered veterans–about fifteen percent of the state’s population–and with thousands of soldiers still returning to the U.S. from deployment in the Middle East, the health care organizations that are charged with taking care of them upon their return can be overwhelmed by this volume.
No one is more familiar with the problems facing returning soldiers than former U.S. Army Signal Officer Lawrence Salone, a Louisiana native who served with the Louisiana National Guard for 18 months in 2004-05 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. “I saw a lot of service members getting arrested and committing suicide,” Salone said. “As a leader, your first job is to take care of your troops as best you can – when you see them falling by the wayside, it’s alarming.”
One-eighth of U.S. soldiers experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) upon returning home, but less than half seek treatment. In addition to facing a high volume of patients, many of the major veteran health care organizations focus on inpatient care and are not able to sufficiently address mental health care needs.
To diffuse the demand on large organizations and ensure that veterans seeking mental health treatment had access to quality care, Salone used his own business experience to found the Post Trauma Institute of Louisiana (PTI) in July 2012, a privately-owned mental health organization that exists to remove the barriers organizations face in delivering the highest quality of mental health care to veterans.
Located in Baton Rouge, PTI’s business model puts psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers under one roof, allowing patients to access comprehensive care in one building rather than receive services from different institutions. PTI accepts most insurance and also offers a membership program to serve as many patients as possible.
Since opening in July 2012, PTI has begun to serve citizens along with veterans and has treated more than 3,000 patients from the Baton Rouge community. The facility currently has six full-time employees and Salone is in the process of hiring two more. In the future, Salone hopes to expand to other areas of Louisiana and nearby states.
For more information about PTI Louisiana, please visit their website.