ST. LOUIS HISTORY
Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri (formerly The Mental Health Association of Greater St. Louis) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1945 for the purpose of giving form and structure to the growing community concerns for the needs of those with mental illness. MHA-EM is the only organization in the St. Louis community concerned with the entire spectrum of mental health and mental illness.
The mission of MHA-EM is to represent the public’s interest in all matters relating to mental illness and mental health. MHA-EM is dedicated to using its limited resources in the most effective way to lead the local mental health movement, addressing the needs of the community at large on all issues of mental health and mental illness.
Each year, more than 100 community volunteers help MHA serve St. Louis City and St. Louis, St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren, Franklin and Jefferson Counties.
It is estimated that over 270,000 St. Louis area citizens are in some way affected by mental illness. This includes almost 40,000 children. On the national level, almost 40,000,000 Americans are affected by the day-to-day struggle of mental illness.
Mental Health America (MHA) is the country’s leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. With more than 300 affiliates nationwide, MHA represents a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation—everyday and in times of crisis.
Mental Health America was founded in 1909, by Clifford W. Beers, a young businessman who struggled with a mental illness and shared his story in his autobiography “A Mind That Found Itself.” He created a national citizens’ group called the National Committee for Mental Hygiene to promote mental health and improve conditions for children and adults living with these health problems. It was a revolutionary act and attracted prominent scholars such as William James and Adolf Meyer, and prominent families such as the Phipps, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts.