Senior Fund Awards Grant to Independence Center for Mobile Outreach Pilot

In June, St. Louis City Senior Fund’s executive board approved a grant award of $90,000 for Independence Center, a nonprofit committed to helping people with chronic mental illness, to pilot a mobile outreach response for older adults in the City of St. Louis.

Agencies in St. Louis regularly receive referrals seeking to connect older residents with assistance to address complex behavioral health needs. In many of these cases, an in-person visit to a resident within 24 to 48 hours is needed to fully assess what is going on and help determine support solutions. The intent of this mobile outreach is to help older St. Louis City residents—after a call related to an acute crisis or in a situation that is building up to a potential crisis—by connecting them to behavioral health services and other service needs (e.g., housing, transportation, food, caregiving support).

A team trained in behavioral health interventions, that could respond in a short timeframe to residents where they live, was identified as one of the priority behavioral health issues by the Aging and Behavioral Health Task Force.1 The task force was facilitated by Senior Fund, Saint Louis MHB, and Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis in 2021. The work of the taskforce has continued into 2022 with the support of the three agencies and a recent grant from Missouri Foundation for Health. The grant award for Independence Center was supported in collaboration with Saint Louis MHB’s Community Mental Health Fund, which contributed half of the grant amount. The Community Mental Health Fund is a levy fund created to support behavioral health services for St. Louis City adult residents.

Independence Center is working with St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, and other partners to pilot the service. The grant award began August 1. More information about eligibility for services and a referral process will be shared soon.

If you would like to join the monthly meetings of the Aging and Behavioral Health Council, contact Britney Parson at Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis.