Historically, children's mental health has been an afterthought in urban communities. In these communities, there is a significant lack of mental health services, especially for children, and where services are offered, they are often offered in environments that lack dignity or respect.
- The lack of mental health services for children in poor communities, often results in "news worthy" incidents perpetrated by the very same children that needed the unavailable care.
- Early mental health intervention in children prevents violence and other crimes.
- Unattended mental health issues in children often result in violence and incarceration later in life.
- People's and Hopewell have both been providing physical and mental health services in underserved communities for more than 40 years.
- Currently, People's and Hopewell together serve more than 51,000 individual patients annually in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
- Our proposed facility will not only bring mental health services to urban children, but will do it in a way that offers dignity and respect - it moves the issue of children's mental health to the forefront of the urban health conversation.
- Parents often recognize mental health issues in their children (acting out in school, fighting, etc.), but due to the stigma of mental health, they do not (or do not know how to) access care. Our new building will be inviting and remove that barrier to families pursuing services for their children.
- The building will be programmed/designed by local industry leading psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, with the specific intention of focusing on urban children's mental health. This is the first such design effort that we are aware of. Ultimately, this means that urban children, who rarely get anything new, will have a new building designed specifically for their needs.
- This will be a place where parents can bring their children in for testing.
- People's and Hopewell are uniquely qualified to provide integrated mental and physical health under one roof.