Children and adolescent mental health problems are at a crisis point in our urban underserved communities. Currently, one in every ten children and adolescents in our urban communities have mental health problems. Too often, families recognize that their children have mental health issues, but are unable to find help or unwilling to access help, due to stigma. All too often, these children, whose mental health issues go unaddressed, grow to lead lives of violence and incarceration. It is time we bring the issue of urban mental health to the forefront of our community’s overall health discussion and treat mental health with the dignity and respect our community deserves. We believe that the best way to address this issue "head on" is to bring together the experience and resources of two not-for-profit 501c3 community service organizations, each providing more than 40 years of primary care and behavioral health services to urban communities. We plan to focus the two organizations on addressing the mental health and wellness needs of our urban children and to provide these services in an environment that makes families and their children feel good about the decision to pursue the much needed help.
We plan to build a new facility uniquely designed to provide mental health services for urban children and their families in a dignified and respectful environment. The proposed facility programming has been designed with the input of a panel of local expert psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, with a goal of creating an environment uniquely designed to address the mental health needs of our underserved urban children. We plan to build a facility that will bring pride to an often ignored community and promote the discussion of mental health and wellness in a community that is often lacking adequate mental health access. This program will take the issue of urban children's mental health from an "afterthought" to the forefront of the discussion of urban health and wellness. We aspire to build a 20,000 square foot building at the location of 5647 Delmar Blvd, in North St. Louis (adjacent to the Betty Jean Kerr People's Health Centers central location). The new building will be owned by Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers, Inc., with children’s mental health services provided by Amanda Luckett Murphy Hopewell Center, Inc. The property for the proposed building has already been purchased by Betty Jean Kerr Peoples Health Centers and is currently being prepared to construct the building. KAI Development is the architect on the project.
To raise 6 Million for the project. BJK People's health centers has already purchased the site for the new building and completed Phase I of the demolition and phase I of the building design.