Dr. Garima Singh talks about Burrell's mental health services in an interview with SBJ Editorial Vice President Eric Olson.
Heather Mosley | SBJ
Dr. Garima Singh talks about Burrell's mental health services in an interview with SBJ Editorial Vice President Eric Olson.

Burrell CMO: Progress made on mental health crisis, but work to be done

Posted online

The community and nation are in the midst of a mental health crisis, and while progress has been made to tackle it, the work is cut out for professionals in the industry, according to Burrell Behavioral Health's chief medical officer.

Speaking this morning for Springfield Business Journal's 12 People You Need to Know live interview series, Dr. Garima Singh said quicker access to mental health service is the best way to make sure the crisis is being dealt with efficiently.

"We are a big advocate when it comes to mental health access," Singh said, noting at Burrell, patients typically can see providers within 15-20 days.

Missouri is faring relatively well, Singh said, as the wait for services can be as far out as March 2022 in some states.

"We don't have six months to wait to get the mental health needs met," she said.

Burrell Behavioral Health has beefed up its mental health provider headcount to 61, up from 17 when Singh came on board three years ago, she said.

To continue to face down the mental health crisis, Singh said organizations like Burrell must continue to lobby and work with insurers to cut down wait times and costs.

She indicated the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially difficult for the mental health care industry and patients.

"We don't have to pretend that we are made of iron," she said. "The pandemic has been the most difficult and challenging time in my professional career, but I couldn't be more proud of the team and organization we are."