With the support of the BUILD grant and in partnership with BJC Healthcare and the City of St. Louis Department of Health, Casa de Salud is scaling the capacity of its Mental Health Collaborative (MHC) to meet the growing demand for access to affordable, culturally and linguistically responsive mental and behavioral health services for our region’s underinsured and uninsured immigrants and refugees who face significant barriers to accessing care. We are connecting and coordinating our regional mental health assets on-site at the MHC to address the immediate needs of the community while also using the space as a best practice incubator to build a broader, more culturally competent provider network that can grow and adapt as our region becomes more diverse.


BUILD and its communities apply bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven (BUILD) approaches to improve health in communities that are adversely affected by upstream factors.


We work closely with the community to understand and address the structural barriers contributing to poor health outcomes. This includes collaborating with advocacy partners and addressing the root causes of health disparities through culturally responsive, trauma-informed approaches. We will create a more inclusive regional healthcare workforce by training providers in cultural and linguistic competency, and treating trauma at the individual level to ensure generational trauma does not persist.


Casa de Salud’s Mental Health Collaborative serves as a vital resource for the community by providing immediate access to care, but also channeling resources and organizing foreign-born voices to better advocate for the community’s needs. To that end, our partnership includes expanding and centering the voice of the foreign-born community among broader systems and organizations like BJC Healthcare and the Department of Health, who have significant reach and power to enact upstream changes in the region.


This collaboration between Casa de Salud, BJC Healthcare, and the Department of Health (DOH) aims to improve the behavioral and mental health of the foreign-born community. Casa de Salud’s cultural competence and community engagement complement BJC Healthcare’s expertise, and the DOH provides support in data analysis, program planning, and community outreach. We will expand the foreign-born community’s voice in broader systems and organizations, working together to develop a sustainable initiative that addresses their needs.


The Mental Health Collaborative (MHC) was created after Casa de Salud patients voiced the need for affordable, culturally competent mental healthcare. Our partnership prioritizes the diverse lived experiences, voices, and leadership of community members throughout all stages of planning and implementation. Our staff also includes individuals with lived experience in the community. By centering the voices of community members, we can address the specific needs of the foreign-born community in the community health improvement plan.


We will collect quantitative data, such as patient health outcomes, through electronic health records, and qualitative data through community engagement activities like listening sessions. By analyzing both types of data collaboratively, we aim to identify trends and patterns that will help us better understand the needs of the foreign-born community and generate insights that can inform our upstream regional efforts to improve health outcomes.