Mapping out mental health needs in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Mental Health Board is preparing to release its yearly $2.5 million in grants to local agencies, and it’s coupled with a needs assessment detailing what the city’s doing right–and where it needs improvement.

The 2018 St. Louis Adult Behavioral Health Community Needs Assessment was conducted by the Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis. Its aim is to find out the biggest issues to address, and the MHB will also use it to determine solutions.

Key takeaways are that mental health risk factors and behavioral health challenges are worse than in Missouri as a whole. Experts say it’s because of higher poverty, crime, and violence rates, which impact people even if they’re not directly involved.

The report also finds that people living in certain areas of the city face the highest needs, including Downtown, Jeff-Vander-Lou, Old North St. Louis, Fairgrounds, Hyde Park, College Hill, Carondelet, The Ville, Fountain Park, Benton Park West, Gravois Park, Marine Villa, and Tower Grove East.

Other high-risk populations are people in-and-out of the criminal justice system, young people aging out of foster care, people who identify as LGBTQ, and people who are homeless.

Of all of their conclusions, the mental health board says what local groups are doing is working, they just need to do more of it, especially with more of a focus on recovery and whole families.

If you are seeking individual help for yourself or a loved one, visit the MHB site for resources.

Nov 1, 2018
By Abby Llorico