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New Orleans RTA hosts mental health forum for frontline workers

4/27/2021

Click here to view the mental health forum. 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Today, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority hosted a COVID-19 mental health forum for all frontline, maintenance, and administrative staff. The forum discussed the importance of identifying the impact COVID-19 has played on our mental health and methods of self-care that every employee can utilize. Medical Correspondent, Dr. Corey Hebert, along with Licensed Medical Social Worker, Jennifer Flecther spoke to the importance of mental health as it connects with our body and overall health.  

“The RTA Board of Commissioners remains committed to the health and well-being of our employees,” said Flozell Daniels, Jr., RTA Board Chair. “The Board has worked tirelessly with senior leadership to ensure our employees were taken care of in sustaining mobility in New Orleans. As we move to new phases of reopening, it is important to stop and address the impacts to our mental health and identify ways in which we can best support each other during these difficult times.”  

“The pandemic has greatly impacted our communities and lives in immeasurable ways,” said Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA CEO. “RTA senior leadership remains focused on keeping our employees safe, both physically and mentally, as the agency continues to provide mobility in New Orleans. Our commitment entails having the necessary and sometimes difficult conversations that will ensure our team has access to pertinent resources that may help get them through any struggles they are facing.” 

“It is important to understand the connection between mind, body, and health,” said Dr. Corey Hebert. “We must all listen to ourselves and not try to justify or rationalize any drastic changes to our moods or behaviors. By seeking help and arming ourselves with the necessary tools, we are better equipped to handle ongoing challenges.”  

“Mental health is real,” said Jennifer Fletcher, LMSW. “We cannot ignore the warning signs from our friends, family members, and peers. We must acknowledge how we are feeling and normalize seeking care.”  

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Dr. Corey Hebert is an Assistant Professor at both LSU Health Sciences Center and Tulane University Medical Center. Better known as “The Doctor for the People,” Dr. Hebert is a highly regarded medical broadcast journalist, working as on-air medical editor for the NBC television affiliate in New Orleans, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, as well as a frequent on-air contributor to the “Dr. Oz Show”. He is also a fan favorite on MSNBC where he is a frequent on-air contributor to the “Ed Show.” He is a current contributor to the Discovery Channel’s “How Stuff Works” television show and has made hundreds of appearances on national television networks and outlets such as CNN, CBS, National Geographic and Good Morning America. Dr. Hebert is the host of an extremely popular weekly radio talk show on the Cumulus Broadcasting Network called, “Doctor for The People” in which he answers health questions live on the air from people throughout the New Orleans metro area and across the country for those who hear his show simulcast on the internet. Dr. Hebert is also the Chief Executive Officer of Community Health TV.   

Jennifer Fletcher, LMSW, is a Licensed Medical Social Worker and the Executive Director of the Sickle Cell Disease nonprofit organization, Zoey’s Sickle Power, Inc. She has worked in the mental health field for over ten years counseling at risk populations including at-risk youths and adults, and the underserved in the New Orleans metro and surrounding areas. Ms. Flether is also the author of Sick·le: Awakening the Truth about Sickle Cell Disease which addresses the harsh inequities that black and brown people face within the healthcare system. Ms. Fletcher was born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana. She attended the University of New Orleans where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. She also attended Southern University of New Orleans, earning a Master of Arts degree in Social Work with a concentration in Health/Mental Health. She is also a dedicated member of Phi Alpha Honor Society. 

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