Starting the Conversation Sparked Community Interest

What an amazing night for mental health in the St. Louis community! Over 80 parents and caregivers turned Incarnate Word Parish into their living room to start a conversation around the mental and emotional well-being of our youth. Claire Kellett of Channel 4 News hosted the amazing panel of parents, along with child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Reising, as they spoke to their experiences in caring for children with mental health challenges. Their stories gave truth and light to the many questions parents have when raising children with anxiety and depression, to severe mental illness such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The mission of Starting the Conversation: Raising Emotionally and Mentally Healthy Kids evolved in the most organic form as guests shared their experiences and questions to help one another – parents and caregivers – be more preventive, proactive, and prepared in their approach to the mental and emotional wellness of our youth.

There was a team of healthcare professionals who provided guests with information about free local resources from agencies such as Behavioral Health Response, Lutheran Family Children’s Services, CHADS Coalition, Eastern MO Chapter for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Mercy Kids Behavioral Health, Catholic Family Services, Mental Health America and St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s 454-TEEN Hotline.

If you are interested in helping set up a conversation at your church, school or professional/civic organization, please contact Jamie Clark, Director of Development at Independence Center, at (314)880-5403 or

As a community, we can continue the conversation so every parent and caregiver can be more preventive, proactive and prepared to address the mental and emotional wellness of our youth.