St. Louis Mental Health Board

St. Louis Mental Health Board

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St. Louis Region Community That Cares Frequently Asked Questions



What is the St. Louis Region Community That Cares?
(Formerly St. Louis Regional System of Care)

The St. Louis Region Community That Cares is a collaborative network of agencies, families, and youth focused on the total health of children and families with, or at risk for, serious emotional disorders. The Community That Cares supports a family-driven, youth-guided approach to care. We want children, young adults and families in the St. Louis region to thrive in every aspect of their lives.

Strong communities are built on strong foundations, beginning in childhood. Children living in communities that support mental health are more likely to thrive by doing well at school, find success in relationships and contribute to economic development by being part of the workforce.


Who does the Community That Cares help?

The Community That Cares serves anyone with, or at risk for, a serious emotional disorder from birth to 21 years old, and their families.


What makes the Community That Cares different?

The Community That Cares is a philosophy put into practice that builds upon the strengths of youth and their families.  Care is centered around the child and driven by the family. Community That Cares members commit to a set of actions as outlined in this Memorandum of Understanding that produce better outcomes for youth and their families. 2016 St. Louis Community That Cares MOU


Why do we need a Community That Cares?

Communities cannot be healthy without healthy people.

Research shows that one in five Americans live with a mental illness, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Less than 20 percent of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the care they need, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Organizations similar to the Community That Cares across the U.S. are making progress on children’s mental health and improving the lives of families by preventing and treating those with, or at risk for, serious emotional disorders. These collaborative networks also save money because of earlier care and decreased admissions and lengths of stay in out-of- home treatment settings.


What services does the Community That Cares offer?

The Community That Cares is not a direct provider of services. We are a collaborative network that supports organizations and agencies that believe in a family-driven and youth-guided flexible approach to providing care.

Each child or young adult’s case is unique.  Services that the St. Louis Region Community That Cares partners provide include primary and behavioral healthcare, social services, education, and youth development. All of our partners are committed to helping children and youth thrive by getting the total support they need to become physically and emotionally healthy and successful at home, in school and in their communities.


Who is involved in the Community That Cares and how can I get involved?

The Community That Cares Council consists of institutions, units of government, organizations, and youth and family representatives that have all committed to advance the System of Care Philosophy. Learn about our partners.

The Community That Cares Family and Youth Advisory Board consists of community members with lived experience caring for a child or young adult with serious emotional disturbance.

Both groups hold regular meetings that are open to the public.  To get involved, email us at


What has the Community That Cares Accomplished?

The Community That Cares focuses on seven goals designed to expand access to children’s mental health services.


Where can I learn about other more about the St. Louis Region Community That Cares model?

The Community That Cares follows the principles of the System of Care model established by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Read more about the system of care model and philosophy.