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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Health Leaders In Springfield Urge People To Seek Mental Health Care As Pandemic Continues

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Dan Dickinson
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The president and CEO of Burrell Behavioral Health wants you to know that if you’re experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis, there is help available.

CJ Davis said at a press briefing Thursday that Burrell has a crisis line available 24/7.  That number is 800-494-7355 for people who live in southwest Missouri and 800-395-2132 for those who live in central Missouri.

Burrell also has a crisis center that’s open 24 hours a day at 800 S. Park. 

Davis said it’s important for people to know that it’s normal to be experiencing mental health symptoms as the pandemic continues.

"Don't suffer in silence," he said.  "Suffering in silence from mental health was something that happened years ago when services weren't as readily available as they are today.  Reach out, get in care, stay in care, connections are always available."

According to Davis, they’ve seen a significant jump in the number of people seeking care since the pandemic started.

He said one in 11 people has reported wanting to end their lives in the last 90 days.

Again the crisis hotline is 800-494-7355 or 800-395-2132 for anyone experiencing mental health symptoms.

The director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department continues urging people to take personal responsibility for preventing the spread of COVID-19.  That’s as more and more Greene County residents are dying from the illness.

Thirty-five people have died so far this month, and the county lost 47 people in September.

Clay Goddard said the county is on track to exceed September’s death count from COVID-19.

He said people’s actions today directly impact the county’s outlook weeks from now.

"The tragically high number of deaths that we are seeing this week are the result of our individual decisions three or four weeks ago," said Goddard.

He urges everyone who is experiencing mental health issues to seek help and that it’s ok to not be ok.

He said they’re cautiously optimistic that things are improving.  According to Goddard, average daily case numbers have dropped 24 percent, and the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate is trending in the right direction as well.