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Mental Wellness Program

Why choose Ochsner Health for your mental wellness care?

The Oschner mental wellness program brings supportive treatment to adults in Louisiana struggling with long-term health conditions, overwhelming day-to-day stress or significant life changes. Our program provides an innovative, intensive outpatient program designed to give you the treatment you need now while also teaching skills you can use to support continued mental wellness.

Patients in the Ochsner mental wellness program come from all walks of life. Most are working adults with families and typical day-to-day responsibilities. The program’s structure allows you to receive care while living at home, spending time with family and friends and maintaining connections with your everyday life.

The goals of the Ochsner mental wellness program are to improve your daily functioning, increase your quality of life and build a foundation you can use to support ongoing mental wellness. The program gives you a jumpstart to learn the skills you need to manage whatever life brings your way. After the program, you’ll benefit from continued individual or group therapy to practice your learning.

You’ll learn mental wellness skills through daily group sessions. During these sessions, you'll learn ways to help manage the challenges of everyday life. Topics covered include:

  • Building and maintaining healthy relationships
  • Communication skills
  • Emotional regulation
  • How to cope during a crisis
  • Mindfulness
  • Processing emotions
  • Recognizing what's draining you or giving you fulfillment
  • Self-care
  • Tolerating distress

Class topics are based on years of research and education and tailored to meet the particular needs of the group and individual patients.

The intensive outpatient program allows you to focus fully on what you’re learning and immediately put your new skills into practice. This will help you quickly begin to integrate what you’re learning into your daily life.

The program is 10 days long and runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. There are rolling admissions. So new patients may join the group daily while others complete the program.

On your first day, you’ll get a brief orientation and an overview of the program. We’ll also give you the patient handbook and materials about patient responsibilities.

A member of the Ochsner mental wellness program team will perform an assessment. The assessment covers your mental health, medical history and medications. This helps us get to know you and ensures your treatment plan is customized to your needs.

Throughout the program, you will:

  • Attend small group therapy sessions
  • Do morning journaling
  • Have dedicated time for quiet meditation
  • Meet one-on-one with your psychiatrist, psychologist or other team member to discuss medication or other concerns
  • Participate in skills-based group sessions

The skills-based groups are taught on a 10-day schedule so that everyone can learn everything covered in the program, no matter when they start.

We know that receiving mental health and wellness treatment can initially feel scary or vulnerable. Because of this, we take great care in providing a safe, private and nonjudgmental environment.

To learn more or enroll in the Ochsner mental wellness program, call 504-842-3999 and select option “3.” When you call, a member of our team will answer your questions and briefly assess your condition and needs. They will also ask you about your insurance coverage. If you and the team member think the program would be a good fit for you, they will help you schedule the next steps.

You can also ask your usual doctor for a referral to the program. In that case, someone from the Ochsner mental wellness program team will call you to get started once we receive the referral from your doctor.

If you call and the team member thinks you need emergency or 24-hour care, they may ask you to go to an Ochsner emergency department. Our emergency departments are open 24 hours a day, and a physician specializing in mental health is always on call.

Whether you're managing a chronic mental health condition, major life transition, unexpected life circumstance or a combination, the Ochsner mental wellness program can help. We treat patients with a wide range of diagnoses and concerns, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Chronic physical health conditions
  • Depression
  • Grief and loss
  • Panic attacks and phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Relationship issues, including parent-child relational concerns
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Work stress

Patients in the Ochsner mental wellness program work with our expert multidisciplinary team to create individualized treatment plans to address their unique needs and goals. The majority of treatment is done through a group-based model. Groups allow patients to learn from and support each other while receiving high-quality, evidence-based treatment from our mental wellness program team. The treatment team includes:

  • Clinical social workers
  • Psychiatric nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists

All patients participate in small group therapy sessions and evidence-based skills groups to promote ongoing mental health and wellness. Typically, each group has eight people or fewer. Occasionally groups may be combined for a larger group session.

Depending on your treatment plan, you may also work one-on-one with a care team member for medication management. Because everyone enters the program at a different stage of life and with differing concerns, success is measured individually. For one person, success may mean decreased symptoms. For another, it may be feeling more capable and confident in managing daily stress. Or for some, it could be more openness in using skills taught in the program or continuing with therapy.

Discharging from the Ochsner mental wellness program may feel as scary as starting it. However, you are not alone as you transition back to your usual schedule. Discharge planning begins on the first day of the program to ensure you have the support you need when the program ends. All patients are also encouraged to attend our after-care support group. If you don’t already have an individual therapist or psychiatrist, we can match you with a provider for ongoing care. We can also provide resources for family therapy.

If needed, the Ochsner mental wellness program team can also refer you to additional Ochsner physicians for assessment or treatment for physical health conditions.


While they are closely related, mental health and mental wellness are different.

Mental health is a person’s emotional, psychological and social health. Like physical health, all people have mental health. It affects our actions, choices, relationships and thoughts.

Mental wellness is when a person has the skills to build strong relationships, bounce back from challenges, cope with daily life stressors, regulate emotions in healthy ways and be a productive community member. Achieving and maintaining mental wellness is an ongoing process that takes dedication and intention.

While psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers are all mental health and wellness experts, they have different training and focus on different aspects of care.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. They prescribe and manage medication and may be involved in psychotherapy, also called talk therapy. When medications and psychotherapy are not enough, a psychiatrist can order additional treatments, such as deep brain stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy or vagus nerve stimulation.

A psychologist is an expert in individual and group psychotherapy and other mental health treatments. Psychologists have a master’s degree or a doctorate degree, also called a PhD. They are trained in many types of psychotherapy, such as acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy or interpersonal psychotherapy. Psychologists use a variety of assessments to diagnose mental health conditions and to get more information about a patient’s skills, strengths and needs. Based on these assessments, they can teach clients new ways of managing their mental health and wellness.

Clinical social workers take a holistic approach to mental health. When providing therapy services, they will address the patient’s mental health and their environment. For example, a social worker will likely consider how access to resources like food or transportation, neighborhood safety or cultural norms may influence the patient’s mental health. Clinical social workers typically have a deep knowledge of community programs. They are skilled at connecting people with the resources they need. In Louisiana, a licensed clinical social worker must have a master’s degree.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Mental Wellness Program

Mental Wellness Program Locations

Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7