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1.8M Missourians lack access to mental health care professionals: New mental health clinic opens in St. Charles

Ellie Mental Health Clinic Director Kristen Abell said long wait lists to see a mental health professional can cause even bigger problems down the road.

ST CHARLES, Mo. — A new mental health clinic just opened in St. Charles at a time when the demand for therapy is at a record high.

It can take weeks or even months to be seen by a mental health professional.

Ellie Mental Health staff said there is a tremendous need for mental health care facilities in our area and across the country.

“There are 1.8 million Missourians that honestly don't have access to mental health care professionals,” Ellie Mental Health St. Charles Owner Andrew Stevenson said.

Stevenson said the pandemic only increased the demand for therapy and it continues to be very strong.

“We still continue to see that because believe it or not, there were a lot of challenges in terms of just coping mechanisms and skills that the pandemic had actually caused,” Stevenson said.

Ellie Mental Health Clinic Director Kristen Abell said long wait lists to see a mental health professional can cause even bigger problems down the road.

“Ultimately...what I've seen happen...working in some of those higher levels of care is we're missing that for so long that some of these problems get exacerbated and they get bigger. We can sometimes run into issues where even up to incarceration happens,” Abell said.

Affordability is another barrier they’re trying to break down.

“We're working right now to offer a bit of a flat rate scale -- which allows folks to come in and be seen -- especially for those who maybe we're not currently contracted with their insurance carrier at this point, or that's still in the processing phase. But we do believe that we would like to make sure that everyone has access to care and making sure that this is not something that is only for those who have insurance,” Stevenson said.

All while taking away the stigma surrounding getting help.

“That's one of our goals in terms of our differentiated care is to create a space that's warm and welcoming and comfortable for people to open up because we realize that getting care can be scary,” Stevenson said.

They said in addition to in-person sessions they’ll be able to provide virtual sessions as well.

Two more locations in St. Charles are coming soon.

For more information or to request an appointment, click here.


Life Crisis Services at Provident, Inc. answers phone call 24/7 by trained volunteers. Call 314- 647-4357.

Kristin Brooks Hope Center - Call from anywhere in the country and get connected to the suicide prevention hotline closest to you. Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Psychological Service Center located at the Washington University Psychology clinic is an outpatient mental health clinic within the Department of Psychology. It provides training opportunities for advanced doctoral students in the clinical psychology program as well as low-cost treatment options for members of the St. Louis community. Call 314-935-6555. 

Schiele Clinic at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute provides high quality, in-depth assessment and treatment for children, adolescents and adults for a fee based on the client's ability to pay. With more than 75 clinic and network therapists, the Institute can refer patients to professionals with a wide range of specialties and offices throughout the area. For adults, call 314- 361-7075 x444.

Saint Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute (SLBMI) is one of the leading providers of behavioral health treatment in the United States. Behavioral professionals assist children and adults who experience anxiety, depression, eating disorders, chronic pain and other issues encountered in daily life. Call 314-534-0200. 

Walter's Walk provides services to individuals with mental illness and/or addiction through counseling and education, at little/no cost to the client. Call 314-731-2433.

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