Leading Change, Transforming Children’s Mental Health

Dec. 7, 2023

At KVC Missouri, we are on a mission to transform children’s mental healthcare in Missouri, because sadly, our state is facing an alarming crisis. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Missouri’s young people ages 10-34, and Missouri ranks in the bottom 10 states nationally in access to mental health care, according to Mental Health America.

While the need continues to grow, especially in the St. Louis region, the number of beds is not keeping pace – with the region lacking 150 inpatient pediatric beds for children and teens in mental health crisis. This results in delayed admissions, lengthy waitlists, and extensive travel times for desperate families and young people.

At KVC Missouri, we’re committed to leading the change. We are working with state and local partners to mobilize support and provide the necessary facilities and staff to properly care for our children in greatest need. KVC Missouri is connecting with leaders and experts throughout Missouri – and in the Greater St. Louis region – to help us lead change and transform lives.

Read below to learn more about what we’re planning and follow along for more updates.

Missouri's Crisis in Children's Mental Health

Connecting Missouri’s Children to Better Mental Health

Credibility, Vision, Leadership: As a subsidiary of KVC Health Systems, a national leader in child welfare and mental health, KVC Missouri brings operational excellence and outcomes, as well as innovative therapeutic practices, to the region. Our services reach across the continuum of care, and with 24 locations and campuses spanning the state, KVC Missouri is the most comprehensive nonprofit children’s mental health organization in the state.

KVC Missouri strengthens families, prevents child abuse and neglect, and helps children and adults achieve mental health wellness. Through our sister subsidiary Camber Children’s Mental Health, KVC Health Systems has three children’s mental health hospitals already serving many Missouri youth – and we are building a fourth one now through a joint venture with Children’s Mercy Kansas City. We specialize in building modern, safe, and secure acute healing environments where we provide nationally recognized behavioral therapies that transform lives.

Uplifting St. Louis: To address the unmet needs of the the Greater St. Louis region, KVC Missouri is in the early stages of imagining new possibilities for creating first-class, leading-edge children’s mental health treatment options. Together, KVC Missouri and leaders in the Greater St. Louis region are working toward our goal of ensuring a community-centered approach that supports and uplifts opportunities for all – because it will take all of us to meaningfully and effectively serve the mental health needs of families and children in crisis.

Moving Forward: Our focus is on the future of child welfare and mental health care for individuals, families and children in St. Louis and throughout the state of Missouri. We are moving forward into a bright new day with untold possibilities. Join us on our journey.

“We’re facing a children’s mental health crisis in the St. Louis region and there are limited treatment options. Currently we are lacking 150 inpatient pediatric mental health beds in the region. This means children are not receiving lifesaving care when they are in their most critical time of need.”

Lindsey Stephenson, LSCSW, President, KVC Missouri

Bringing Community Together

Webster Groves, located in the Greater St. Louis region, is a regional hub of KVC Missouri. We have made significant improvements following our acquisition of Great Circle, including building a senior leadership team for our Webster Groves campus and expanding our programs and services that strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, and help both children and adults achieve mental wellness.

Mental health care is always best when it is local — within reach of families, schools, friends and local medical providers. For that reason, we value our local community partners and their influential roles, both outside and within the walls of every KVC Missouri facility. That’s how healthy families and strong communities come together to make Missouri lives better.