Mental Health Collaborative

The MHC: A Coordinated On-Site Referral Model

In order to address the system-wide barriers to care, Casa created a new service delivery model: the Mental Health Collaborative (MHC).  Casa addresses these barriers with partner therapists by operating as a central referral point for clients, as well as handling transportation assistance, interpreter scheduling, reminder calls, and other administrative tasks. Meanwhile, therapists can devote all of their energy to providing the best care possible.

Casa also works to facilitate information and best practice sharing among collaborative partners with various qualifications, years of practice, modalities, and experience with cross-cultural counseling to ensure each collaborative therapist has the opportunity to learn new evidence-based techniques and practice wisdom. Underlying this is the grand goal of bolstering culturally competent care through both increased access and quality.

Specifically, the MHC model for counseling access is structured to:
  • Maximize regional mental health service providers’ efficiency to serve high-need clients,
  • Build upon the community’s desire to support our uninsured, foreign-born, people of color,
  • Maximize the access with minimal employment of clinical staff,
  • Create a workforce pipeline for bilingual mental health professionals in the region, and
  • Develop a model of integrating immigrants into the regional mental health system instead of diverting resources to a parallel system 

In practice, this involved bringing partner agencies into Casa’s mental health building. The MHC also incubates new therapists and provides rent-free office space and support to established therapists at no cost in exchange for serving Casa-referred clients.

The MHC model creates access through reduced barriers to mental healthcare and creates a hub for developing the capacity for high-quality, culturally-competent care for our target population throughout the region.


Provider Partners:

  • SLU Medical Family Therapy Program
  • St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute
  • St. Francis Community Services
  • Bilingual International Assistance Services
  • Multicultural Counseling & Research Center
  • South City Counseling
  • Feel Good Counseling
  • Jon-Pierre Mitchom
  • Moyenda Anwisye-Thompson
  • Lutheran Family & Children’s Services
  • Mercy Professional Services
  • Behavioral Health Response
  • Dr. Jim Powers
  • Anne Hagen, LCSW
  • Eileen Cheong, LPC
  • Reina Baez, LMFT
  • Dr. Valentina Penalba, LMFT