Places for People to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month with full slate of programs and activities in May

– Programming will be available to staff as well as persons served –

ST. LOUIS (May 3, 2024) – In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Places for People (PFP) will offer a variety of programs and activities throughout May for its staff and the people it serves. Using the theme “Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health,” PFP will offer activities to raise awareness of the importance of mental health, including two guest speaker events as well as ongoing trainings and educational activities.

“In the spirit of advancing the conversation about mental health in our PFP community and our St. Louis community, I am excited to kick off Mental Health Awareness Month programming,” said Tony Hilkin, CEO of Places for People. “Places for People works hard every day to support our persons served in their journeys. Mental Health Awareness Month is a great opportunity for all of us – our staff, our persons served, and our community – to celebrate, to reflect on progress made, and to plan for progress to come.”

To kick things off, Places for People will host “Party at Our Place”, its spring fundraising event, at 6 p.m. May 3, 2024, onsite at PFP. In addition, Illume, PFP’s research, evaluation, consultation, and trainings branch, will host training sessions throughout the month. To raise awareness, PFP clinical staff will showcase various mental healthcare modalities in a ten-part series called “Treatment Spotlights”.

As a leader in the mental health field, PFP provides its staff with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which helps increase access and support to those working in the field as well. Speaker presentations in May will include tips and insight for staff as they work to maintain their own mental health while helping persons served.

Throughout May, we will be celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month at Places for People in a variety of ways:
● Spotlight Emails – Each week, PFP will share treatment spotlights with staff through email to help them learn more about some of the treatment models used at Places for People during the recovery journey including the successes of individuals and families. PFP also will share staff spotlights each week to celebrate the amazing work of staff.
● Illume trainings – To promote the wellness of staff and the importance of their mental well-being, Illume will hold two special sessions of Staff Wellness Trainings. These trainings will be offered at the Illume office in the Blanke Building on May 13 and May 29.
● “Mind Matters: Internal Resources for Mental Wellbeing” – This one-hour program at 11 a.m., May 8 will provide staff members with an overview of the resources available through PFP’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This session will be led by Anthem’s Genea Newell, LMFT, CEAP.
● “Are you thriving or surviving? Let’s Talk About Mental Health” – (May 30, Noon – 1pm) In this fireside chat Dr. LJ Punch, trauma surgeon, advocate, and Executive Director of The T, will discuss the impact of trauma on our community, and how we can all work together when “Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health” in St. Louis.
“Our staff are critical to the success of Places for People and all the valuable work that is carried out here every day,” said Michelle Williams, Impact Team Leader. “Working in the mental health care field is rewarding, but challenging. That’s why it’s so important to support our staff and to make sure they have the tools they need so they can carry out their important work.”

“It’s so important not only to meet people where they are but to ensure they feel connected and welcome, no matter their circumstances or background,” said Micha Mims, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.

About Places for People: Since 1972, Places for People has provided a human approach to health and healing, with a focus on mental and physical health, as well as substance use disorders. The organization, which is one of the only Certified Community Behavioral Health Organizations (CCBHO) in St. Louis City or County, has 360+ employees and serves more than 3,150 people of all ages annually. Learn more at