Raising children isn’t easy. When stresses and challenges get to be too much for parents, the not-for-profit Saint Louis Crisis Nursery
is there to help.
On June 18, St. Anthony’s Medical Center began a partnership with the nursery to host an outreach center on campus.
“We are so thrilled we have this opportunity to serve even more families in the St. Louis area with the help of St. Anthony's and Mercy
,” said DiAnne Mueller, CEO of the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery. “Mercy has been a committed partner of the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery for many years, and this partnership allows the Crisis Nursery to expand in south county.
“Since 1986, the Crisis Nursery has provided a safe haven for more than 112,000 children and support for thousands of families,” she added. “Outreach centers like the one that is now located in St. Anthony’s help us support families who are struggling.”
The partnership between St. Anthony’s/Mercy and the Crisis Nursery was one of the initiatives identified as a priority during a series of community roundtable sessions last summer, said Laura Bub, MPH, St. Anthony’s community benefit manager.
“We saw a recurring theme arise around a need for services for children and families,” Laura said. “Coupled with the fact that access to care is one of our top priorities identified through our Community Health Needs Assessment, we thought that partnering with the Crisis Nursery and making space for an outreach center on our campus would be a perfect fit.”
Kim Blackford, MAT, Crisis Nursery parent education program coordinator, works from an office in Volunteer Services on the first floor of the medical center. She is available to meet with patients, their families, or co-workers “in the moment.”
Kim will provide support to families who could use some extra help coping with the issues that brought them to the hospital and are affecting their current family situation. This can be for a one-time intervention and/or through ongoing home visits. Saint Louis Crisis Nursery also provides short-term respite care for children at several locations, including in south St. Louis city.
“Having an outreach center within St. Anthony’s will benefit the south county community at large and also the patients and co-workers of the hospital,” Kim said. “I will be doing home visits with families all around south St. Louis County to support them in the heroic job of parenting. When stress and other factors in life build up, we want parents to know that they are never alone.
“Our Family Empowerment Program strives to meet families where they are, and therefore is very flexible,” Kim added. “We can offer education and support to everyone from new parents adjusting to life with an infant to families with children as old as 12 years. In home visits, we can work on stress management, goal setting, connecting to community resources, parenting challenges, and much more. We also will be offering parent education groups throughout the year. Basic needs items, such as diapers and hygiene items, also may be available.
Hospital co-workers also are eligible for all nursery services, which are confidential and free.
For more information on the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery, please call 314-292-5770 or visit crisisnurserykids.org
. To reach Kim at St. Anthony’s, call 314-525-1555.