Relieving the Mental Health Crisis in Southwest Missouri


The good news is that hospitals around Springfield have made efforts to provide faster care to those in need. Mercy added a behavioral health unit to its emergency department for psychiatric patients and expanded its mental health services through telemedicine. CoxHealth increased its “psych-safe” beds from four to 14 and expanded its drug treatment services, and Burrell opened the Behavioral Crisis Center in June 2020.

The new walk-in clinic offers care to anyone who needs it. “It’s like emergency mental health care,” Davis says. If there was any doubt about the need for such a clinic, Davis mentions the 800 patients treated at the clinic in the first eight months. “Fifty percent of the calls are related to drug addiction,” says Davis. “We can connect people to safe drug treatment centers, and we have crisis beds for outpatient psychological assistance. The key is that if you feel an urgent need for care or if you are suffering from depression or severe anxiety or suicidal thoughts, you can contact us.

One of the clinic’s goals is to reduce the number of psychiatric patients who would normally go to the emergency room as their first point of care. “In a hospital setting, you can wait two to three hours, and that’s wasted time,” says Davis. “We will put you in touch with the right level of care. This type of clinic is not only a benefit for patients who need mental health services immediately or at least help in being directed to the best treatment path, but it is also a help for hospitals who need it. traditionally bear much of the burden. “At the Mercy ER, there has been a 38% decrease in behavioral health visits because they come to us on the front line,” says Davis. Mercy and CoxHealth contribute financially to the Burrell Behavioral Health Clinic; Davis says it’s an example of how key players in Greene County are working together to meet the need for more mental health services. But there’s a new way Burrell has improved its mental health offerings that was never part of the plan: launching its Be Well community.

If you’ve been following Burrell during the height of the pandemic, you may have noticed Burrell’s daily live sessions on Facebook as his team members walk viewers through meditations, mental health checkups, and exercise exercises. relaxation. These sessions actually started out as an internal service for the Burrell team which was under tremendous pressure when COVID arrived. “Our management team was in a meeting all day to prepare everything [for COVID], and somewhere in there [Davis] looked around and asked, “What are we doing to take care of our staff?” Says Matt Lemmon, Marketing Director at Burrell.

This simple question led to the creation of an in-house support and wellness program that conducted a daily 30 minute Zoom session. “It was about being attentive and leaving space to mourn,” says Lemmon. Eventually, the Burrell team decided that this same daily livestream could be of use to others struggling with stress and grief from COVID, so Burrell launched the Be Well community and started doing livestreams. Facebook at 12:45 p.m. daily. “We started to see a thirst for more behavioral health support and information overnight,” says Davis. “The number of people coming online has increased, and we started to see the number of people watching videos increase later on, and then we saw people from all over the country and around the world watching.”

The Be Well community has been so successful that Burrell is now partnering with companies to use the program in their offices. “We see this as a new gateway for Burrell,” Davis says. “You don’t have to worry about us to have a connection with us. “


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