MHB Annual Report | FY21

Mental Health Fund

Community Mental Health Fund Supports first of its kind Regional Sobering Center

In FY2021, MHB Trustees made a three-year $600,000 commitment to support the operational costs for a first of its kind regional sobering center. Following investment by the State of Missouri and the City of St. Louis allowing for facility renovation and the purchase of equipment and furnishings, MHB’s investment in May 2021, was critical in leveraging multi-year funding commitments from local hospital system partners, enabling the sobering center to become a reality and open its doors to receive patients on December 13, 2021.

Behavioral Health Network led the creation of the Dunnica Sobering Support Center (Center) using an enhanced service delivery model to build a sustainable framework for easy, immediate access to substance use crisis services for city residents. Staffed by Preferred Family Healthcare, the Center is a facility where actively intoxicated people ages 18 and older can voluntarily safely recover from acute intoxication while receiving basic medical monitoring. The Center will divert individuals to safer environments from the criminal justice system and local Emergency Departments (ED); provide referral and linkage to substance use treatment and other social supports; improve public safety by reducing the amount of time that police officers spend out of service due to ED drop off or jail booking time; and allow emergency department beds to be available for high level trauma versus being utilized for medical monitoring of intoxicated individuals. The enhanced model supports a more acute level of intoxication, including more extensive opioid use, currently at a crisis level in St. Louis.

Based on the need for these types of services to fill gaps in the behavioral health system of care, work is underway at the state level to identify funding codes to support these types of services. This work, coupled with Medicaid expansion, has the potential to provide the support needed for the long-term sustainability of the Center.

Community Mental Health Fund Overview

Established in 1994, the Community Mental Health Fund works to improve the quality of life for City residents with mental health and/or substance use disorders, primarily serving adults ages 18 and older. The fund supports a range of services that address behavioral health wellness leading to prevention or recovery in the dimensions of health, home, purpose, and community.

Achieving Wellness and Recovery

In FY21, 54% of adults participating in MHB-funded programs improved their behavioral health wellness as demonstrated by these changes:

  • Fewer mental health symptoms
  • Improved management of behavioral health and physical health conditions
  • Resolving legal issues impeding recovery
  • Maintaining stable housing
  • Becoming/remaining employed

Number of Adults Served

During FY21, the first full year of the COIVD-19 pandemic, the number of adults participating in MHB-funded services decreased only 9.5% or 497 fewer adults. Of the 4,739 adults served in FY21, 2,559 (54%) improved their behavioral health wellness and recovery as detailed below…

Behavioral Health Wellness
& Recovery

  • 2,270 adults (56%) successfully identified, prevented, and/or addressed their behavioral health conditions through early intervention
  • 289 adults (44%) with severe and persistent mental illness improved their ability to function independently, get or keep a job, and/or maintain stable housing

Early Intervention Programming

4,079 individuals or 86% of those served participated in early intervention-focused programming in FY21, reflecting a 16% decrease or 794 fewer adults than in FY20.