The YMCA’s Mental Health Resources provide training, support, and opportunities for kids, teens, and adults to take control of their mental health. In conjunction with the National Alliance of Mental Illness St. Louis, Independence Center, Saint Louis Counseling, Inc., and Lutheran Family and Children's Services of Missouri, you will learn how to help those around you in need of support and get tools to improve the mental health of yourself and others. 

According to NAMI St. Louis, "one in 5 American adults experience some form of mental illness in any given year. Across the nation, 1 in every 25 adults is living with a serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or long-term recurring depression. Many people living with mental illness do not seek treatment or remain unaware of their symptoms." At the Gateway Region YMCA, we aim to remove the stigma that is often attached with mental illness and provide continuous resources, support, and aid to those living every day on the edge through our Starting the Conversation Program.

If you are interested in attending a class, please visit our Starting the Conversation page for the latest class times.

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What are some of the signs and symptoms of mental illness?

Signs may vary depending on individual circumstances and experiences. 

Some symptoms may include:

  • Feeling sad, down, or hopeless; reduced ability to concentrate
  • Excessive anger, irritability, hostility, or violence
  • Extreme mood changes, fatigue, tearfulness, or frequent crying episodes
  • Withdrawal from friends and family; loss of interest in activities
  • Poor school performance; increased stress, worries, or guilt
  • Major changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Alcohol or drug use; changes to sex drive
  • Suicidal thinking

If a troubling behavior arises, consider the length of time that it persists as it is recommended to seek help for concerning behaviors lasting longer than two weeks. Whenever you are in doubt, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS and seek immediate help.

Who do I contact when I or someone I know needs help?

We have plenty of resources to help you or someone you know. We regularly partner with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and CHADS Coalition for Mental Health and have frequent opportunities through our program Staring the Conversation for training, support groups, and mental health resources.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please reach out to your local hotline or call the National Mental Health Emergency Number at 988 immediately.

You can also check out to pledge to be an ally to those suffering with mental illness.