Innovating Access to Behavioral Health Care

Burrell Behavioral Health

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With the introduction of new facilities and programs, Burrell Behavioral Health is on a mission to make mental health care more accessible for everyone. There has also been a significant amount of renovation of client-focused areas in existing clinics in order to make people feel more at ease and welcome. 

The Connection Center

The recently opened Connection Center is a walk-in clinic for behavioral health issues, greatly increasing the number of clients that are able to be seen. 

“Approximately fifty percent of our clients don’t have a primary care provider,” says Jana Greig, marketing director at Burrell. “If you don’t have a physician to tell you how to get help or to refer you, you can just walk in and be seen that day to be assessed and get a care plan.” Clients may then be referred to a specialist. Appointments may also be scheduled. 

Be Where People Are Experiencing Crisis

“We’re trying to break down any sort of barrier that would prevent someone from seeking care,” says Greig. 

In keeping with that mission of expanding access to mental health care services, Burrell is embedded with the Greene County Family Justice Center and Burrell professionals are present in nearly 30 school districts, including Springfield, where there will soon be someone in every building in all five high school feeder patterns. “We’re going where people are, where they’re experiencing their crises,” says C.J. Davis, president and CEO of Burrell. “We want to be down the hall, not across town.”

“CJ Davis took over as president/CEO in 2017 and from day one this access piece has been the goal,” says Greig. “The tradition in behavioral health has been to build a building and when people self-identify as needing help, they’ll walk in the door. But that model isn’t working anymore.” 

“The goal isn’t only to make sure that people know Burrell is in the community but to almost be unavoidable,” says Davis. “If you need help, we’re going to be right there.” 

Burrell is also helping to establish a 24/7 Behavioral Crisis Center, which will open in spring 2020, as a 23-hour stabilization and observation unit for substance use and mental health crises. Not only can people walk in off the street if they’re seeking help for themselves or a loved one, but the center will also be used as a diversion for law enforcement. When officers encounter someone exhibiting mental health or substance use problems, instead of taking the non-medically critical individuals to the emergency room or to jail, they would take them to the crisis center where they are triaged and stabilized. They are then connected with the follow-up care they need. 

“Taking someone to the hospital may get them stabilized but that’s not long term,” says Greig. “Hopefully this frees up some resources at the emergency rooms while still allowing someone to start a journey to recovering.”

The crisis center is a collaborative effort between Greene County, the City of Springfield/Springfield Police Department and local medical institutions. “They are all on board and Burrell is proud to help bring it all together,” says Davis. “There aren’t a lot of these nationwide yet so it’s pretty unique.”

Burrell is one of the three largest federally Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) in the United States. “We know other communities in Missouri are watching. This could be a watershed moment for behavioral health in our state,” says Davis. 

Burrell Behavioral Health

General Information & Appointments: 417-761-5000
24-Hour Crisis Line: 1-800-494-7355