Burrell Behavioral Health will open a new expansion to one of its main facilities in Springfield Thursday.
The Connection Center is a major expansion at Burrell’s main location on E. Bradford Parkway.
It’s been renovated from office space to be more welcoming to clients and speed up access to mental health services.
Matt Lemmon is a spokesman for Burrell.
“Someone who is not currently enrolled in Burrell Behavioral Health Services can come into the Connection Center, be seen in a matter of 10-15 minutes, get their initial assessment, screening, and then be connected to appropriate services within our system,” said Matt Lemmon, spokesman for Burrell.
Lemmon says the center will go from seeing 32 people a day to one hundred people a day. He says Burrell projects 600 people will visit in January, a 20% increase over last year’s monthly average of visitors.
Missouri, like other states across the country, is facing a shortage of mental health professionals.
KSMU’s 2017 series, “Waiting For Care,” revealed that data from the Missouri Board of Healing Arts showed 61% of Missouri’s counties did not have a single licensed psychiatrist.
Also, a report by the Centers for Disease Control identified suicide rates as being significantly higher in rural areas, and that access to mental health care is one of the main risk factors in those suicide rates.
Burrell Behavioral Health serves 17 counties in Missouri and several counties in Arkansas. The facility will hold an open house for the new facility Thursday from 3:30 at 1300 E. Bradford Parkway in Springfield.