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Local Entrepreneur Speaks on Importance of Mental Health

For years, statistics have told us 1 in 5 people experience a mental health condition. The COVID-19 pandemic has created mental health concerns from heightened stress levels, substance use and the isolating effect of social distancing — but the pandemic has also created space for critical conversation in our society. Many of us have moved from knowing someone with a mental health condition to being the 1 in 5.

It is so important to recognize mental health concerns are not new: they are only just now being spoken about through a megaphone. There are so many people who work day-in and day-out to maintain their mental wellness. These people are not a specific cohort of society. Rather, they are everyday people like Katie Collier.

Collier is a wife and mother, and co-owner of the successful St. Louis restaurant, Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria. At 13 years old, she was admitted to a psychiatric ward for drug and alcohol use. It took seven years for Collier to become sober and able to manage all the factors of her mental health with confidence. As she says in the video below, her mental wellness journey continues to this day. Collier attributes much of her success to finding the right organization to help her.

“I wish I would have known that there were places like Places for People that can help you — there’s organizations and so many resources out there,” Collier said.

Places for People is actively working to meet the evolving mental and behavioral health needs of our community. We are expanding our space and our capacity to provide services to more St. Louisans. We will continue to care for the most vulnerable populations, as well as individuals with more resources who need mental health care. We are introducing new programming to support people who are affected by substance use and addiction. We will also offer family support services, for people like Collier’s parents, siblings and friends, who were all impacted as she navigated her pain and trauma.

As we learn more about what the future will look like — tomorrow and post-pandemic — we believe it will reflect empathy, grace and compassion for others. At Places for People, we have created a culture where we communicate and listen without judgment. We believe everyone should be shown dignity, regardless of their life experiences or so-called “imperfections.” We believe in supporting each other on our individual journeys to achieve wellness.

“With a little support, your life is boundless in what you can accomplish,” Collier said.

We encourage you to watch Katie Collier’s video and learn more about her story below. You can help Places for People’s Place of Healing Campaign reach the finish line. Visit our campaign page today to learn more.

“Don’t ever, ever give up.” Katie Collier