The end of Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 20) has been incredibly challenging for Independence Center. 2020 has placed us in the face of the global pandemic, with our mental health care and socialization services more necessary than ever. However, in compliance with CDC guidelines and in an effort to protect our members’ physical health, our services were severely restricted and impossible to deliver as normal since March.
As we take a look back over the past twelve months, we cannot ignore the impacts of COVID-19 and the changes it has brought forth, but we reflect on both the achievements and challenges across our programs and financials.
Now, like many organizations, we are beginning to re-open, with precautions, and working to regain normalcy. Amidst a major financial downturn, due to sudden decreased revenue resulting from limited services, we have been inspired by the strength, adaptability and resiliency of our dedicated staff, members and the immediate response of a caring community.
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on mental health globally – of which we have not yet seen the full effect. The impact of social isolation and ever-present health concerns are especially detrimental to the vulnerable populations that we serve. Considering the unique struggles many of our members are facing during this time, we have placed renewed focus on:
Telehealth & Accessibility
A majority of health services have become available to members via TeleHealth to keep continuity of care at a time when social distancing is imperative. Additionally, IC secured a $94,000 technology grant providing phones and access to Clubhouse members.
During shutdown due to COVID, IC provided a virtual gathering place exclusive to members mimicking the Clubhouse socialization and engagement in virtual Work Order Day programming.
Suicide Prevention & Intervention
We have trained team members in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and QPR, an emergency response approach. Additionally, we have continued our Zero Suicide efforts to ensure all of our members receive the most support possible during this trying time.
Coordination of Care Improvements
- Introduced St. Louis Pharmacy at Independence Center, in collaboration with West Pine Pharmacy, providing members on-site access to necessary medicine.
- Received a grant through Marillac Mission Fund, allowing an Occupational Therapist to join our team to assess needs and provide additional supports to our older members as they age.
- Partnered with the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging to provide education in areas of fall prevention through their Matter of Balance Class for older members.
The Impact of Your Contributions
Each year, Independence Center serves over 1,600 members, and the need is rapidly increasing. We are committed to providing the most exceptional care to anyone with a severe and persistent mental illness, regardless of their ability to pay. Each day, members rely on Independence Center to help manage their illness, find belonging and purpose, and gain the independence to live a healthy, quality life.
In this letter and report, you’ll see the proof of our importance, not just to our members, but to a healthier St. Louis community – and we hope you’ll consider how we rely on your generous support as we provide members a path to better mental health.
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Operations