Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. It can impact people of all ages and backgrounds, which is why organizations like Provident Behavioral Health are so vital to a community. Along with counseling and crisis intervention, the nonprofit offers after-school programs, community outreach, training for social workers, psychiatric nursing services and a 24-hour help line. “These issues are pervasive on both local and national levels,” says executive director Kevin Drollinger. “We have a very important role to play in helping people by providing robust resources and a supportive environment.”
Provident’s enduring success of 160 years of service is thanks to its dedication to looking ahead. This forward-thinking philosophy is evident in its new partnership with Mary Ryder Home, a residential care facility for low-income, senior women. Drollinger notes that the collaboration will help Provident expand its reach. “Baby boomers are aging, and their mental health needs are growing rapidly,” he says. One in four seniors has a mental illness, which can be compounded by lifestyle challenges like isolation and chronic health problems. “Our goal is to help those most in need, and there’s a clear call for initiatives that support this population,” he says.
The collaboration will have beneficial outcomes for both organizations. “They’ve brought us expertise we didn’t have, and we have the infrastructure that will allow them to grow and amplify their mission,” Drollinger explains. The nonprofits have a combined total of 250 years of service to the community. “We have a wonderful legacy, but it’s equally exciting to consider what we’ll be able to do together in the next 250 years,” he says. “Our reach has grown 51% in the last year alone.”
The new partnership was possible due in part to the efforts of Provident board member Larry Thomas. “He could see the energy that would come from joining with Mary Ryder Home and helped lead the charge to make it happen,” Drollinger says. “He’s an expansive, strategic thinker, and he brought his wisdom and insight to the process.” Thomas, a partner at Edward Jones, has been supporting Provident for more than a decade and was part of the committee that brought Drollinger to the nonprofit in 2016. According to Drollinger, he brings fresh energy and determination to every board meeting, and his passion for the nonprofit’s mission inspires others to step up. “Larry is dedicated to bettering the community and supporting those in need,” he says. “We are pleased and humbled that he has chosen Provident to invest his time, talent and treasure.”
Thomas will be honored for his dedication and service with the Spirit of Provident Award at the nonprofit’s annual gala Feb. 8, 2020, at The Ritz-Carlton. “I’m thrilled that we can lift Larry up and give him some of the recognition he deserves for what he’s done not only for Provident, but also for the entire community,” Drollinger says. To celebrate the partnership with Mary Ryder Home, the event also will shine a light on the organization’s services for senior women, and the Mary Ryder Singers will perform. “The choir’s enthusiasm fits perfectly with our mission,” he notes. “It’s going to be a wonderful evening of celebration, praise and support for mental health.”
Provident Behavioral Health and Mary Ryder Home are celebrating a combined 250 years of service to the community. Provident’s largest annual fundraiser, the Spirit of Provident Gala, is Feb. 8 at The Ritz-Carlton. Pictured on the cover: Board member and honoree Larry Thomas. For more information, call 314.802.2581 or visit providentstl.org.
Cover design by Julie Streiler | Cover photo by Colin Miller of Strauss Peyton Photography
Pictured at top: Provident and Mary Ryder Home have a combined 250 years of service to the community.
Photo courtesy of Provident Behavioral Health