Key Support: Provident

Few treasures in life are as precious as good mental health. It deeply impacts our physical well being, relationships, happiness and personal success. And though it’s vastly important, it also can be fragile and elusive, especially for those in financial need.

Provident, a behavioral health nonprofit with three area locations, believes that compassionate, proactive care should be available to everyone regardless of their means. Its licensed clinical therapists and other professionals are readily available to fill a growing need for assistance, and its motto of ‘Changing Lives, Saving Lives’ reflects their dedication. The 158-year-old organization provides counseling, advocacy and education services for people of all ages, and its 24-hour crisis help line assists more than 70,000 callers a year. The need is always great, so prevention and intervention are at the heart of everything Provident does, according to executive director Kevin Drollinger.

Organizations of this kind rely on local champions, and Drollinger says Provident has been especially blessed to receive support from philanthropists Stuart and Elaine Greenbaum. The couple’s many contributions will be celebrated February 9 at the annual Spirit of Provident Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel downtown. “I’ve worked with nonprofits in three states over 40 years, and I can’t think of another board member who has contributed more than the Greenbaums,” Drollinger notes. “We truly think of them as being ‘all things Provident.’”

Stuart is finishing up his final term on the nonprofit’s board of directors. Among many other roles, he is a finance professor and former dean of Washington University’s Olin School of Business, and Elaine is an economist who helped establish the Down Syndrome Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “Stuart has the most amazing background,” Drollinger says. “His curriculum vitae is 12 pages long, he has consulted with many heads of state, and his list of published works is astonishing. Though he and Elaine have access to tremendous financial resources, they never lose sight of people with the greatest need.”

As he prepares to leave the board, Stuart has been helping Provident update its strategic plan and mission focus. “He has been passionate about our vision to help others from the beginning, and Elaine has taken up the mantle just as enthusiastically,” Drollinger says. “Over time, many people become set in their ways and rigid in their thinking, but Stuart and Elaine are the opposite. Their thirst for learning and desire to help Provident grow are never ending. The financial and moral support of people like the Greenbaums is why we have been around so long.”

Drollinger says the organization is looking optimistically to the future, standing on a strong foundation the Greenbaums have done much to secure. “Among other things, we are developing new initiatives to provide in-person and telephone support to seniors struggling with isolation, depression, illness and thoughts of self-harm,” Drollinger says. “We are always thinking of new ways to help people lead full, productive lives, and our programs and services would not be possible without supporters like the Greenbaums. They inspire the passion and long-term personal connections that keep us going. At our gala in February, the room will be filled with people wishing to thank them.”

Provident has three metro area locations that provide critical behavioral health services for people of all backgrounds. Its Spirit of Provident Gala, Feb. 9 at The Four Seasons Hotel, features keynote speaker Frank Warrent and is the organization’s biggest annual fundraiser. Pictured on the cover: Gala honorees Stuart and Elaine Greenbaum. For information about the event, call 314.802.2581 or visit providentstl.org.

Cover design by Allie Bronsky
Cover photo by Tim Parker Photography

Pictured above: Provident clinicians are highly trained in compassionate care.