New Be Well Bell at Burrell offers help for those in crisis

A new Be Well Bell at Burrell's main campus that was painted by clients and staff (photo taken July 14, 2023)
Michele Skalicky

The bell was unveiled recently to mark the anniversary of 988.

A new brightly painted bell at Schaible Lake behind Burrell Behavioral Health’s main campus in south Springfield offers help to those who need it.

The Be Well Bell, painted by Burrell clients and staff, contains information about how to get help if you’re in a crisis.

"It's just this complete coming together of this design that showcases our community," said Bailey Pyle, a licensed clinical provider for Burrell’s Be Well Initiatives.. "So, participants were asked to create their own representation of things that inspire hope, healing and a life they enjoy living."

The bell was unveiled Friday, July 14, to mark the one-year anniversary since the launch of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Natasha Corkins, director of Crisis Services for Burrell, said they added staff members and got new phone systems to be ready for an anticipated increase in calls with the launch of 988.

"Before July (2022), we were probably in the 200s and 300s," she said, "and, since July, we have been growing up to our last month, which was over 500 calls."

So far, she said, they‘ve been able to achieve a 98 percent answer rate.

She said 988 makes it much easier for those in crisis to get care, and she hopes it one day becomes as familiar as 911.

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Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.