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Working Together to Improve Behavioral Health

Mercy and Burrell Behavioral Health sign agreement to collaborate on care

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – When someone comes to the emergency room for mental health help, the need is immediate and just as serious as someone who arrives with chest pains.

Having the right training and resources to care for all patients is essential, which is why Mercy is tapping into the expertise of psychiatrists and counselors from Burrell Behavioral Health. They’ve joined providers at Mercy to conduct behavioral health assessments of emergency room patients to ensure they get assessed quickly and are given the right level of care. Beginning Dec. 1, 2018, Burrell doctors will also begin working in the Mercy Marian Center inpatient behavioral health unit.

“We want to offer behavioral health services when and where people need them most, particularly during times of crisis or trauma,” said Dr. C.J. Davis, President and CEO of Burrell Behavioral Health. “This new level of integration between Burrell and Mercy achieves the needed level of access, service and response. Together, we recognize that we can better serve our community working together to provide the best quality of care in a way that improves our community’s health and breaks down the stigma associated with behavioral health.”

The most recent Community Health Assessment highlighted behavioral health as a top priority for our area, noting that it affects all other areas of physical wellness along with family life and job performance. “We have a nationwide shortage of mental health providers,” said Jon Swope, president of Mercy Springfield Communities. “That’s why linking arms as a community to share resources is the best way to help our neighbors. I know adding Burrell’s expertise will make a big difference to our patients.”

Once patients are well enough to leave Mercy, they can continue getting long-term outpatient support from either provider. Burrell offers specialized psychiatric and counseling services for adults and children, community case management services, and serves those with chronic and severe behavioral illness and clients with substance-use disorders, including opioid addictions. With the addition of Walk-In access at its Main Center in 2018, Burrell is able to assess clients on the first day they seek care, resulting in a significant drop in wait times to receive crucial services. Along with its inpatient Marian Center, Mercy also treats addiction and serves the mental health needs of adults and children in its outpatient clinics. Both organizations have recently added new providers; Mercy hired five psychiatric advance practice nurses in late summer, significantly increasing its number of available outpatient behavioral health appointments. Burrell recently hired two psychiatrists and four advance practice nurses.

“The entire health care community is committed to doing even more to help those who feel like they are suffering alone,” Swope said. “Please know we are here and we are working on solutions that will make getting help easier, so please reach out.”

For those who need someone to talk to right now, Burrell Behavioral Health offers a 24/7, crisis line. Just dial 417-761-5555.


Mercy Springfield Communities is comprised of Mercy Hospital Springfield, an 866-bed referral center; an orthopedic hospital; a rehab hospital; a children’s hospital; four regional hospitals in Lebanon, Aurora, Cassville, and Mountain View, Missouri; and Mercy Clinic, a physician clinic with nearly 700 doctors and locations throughout the region. 

Burrell Behavioral Health is the second largest behavioral health center in Missouri, working with more than 40,000 clients across 17 counties in Missouri. Burrell has approximately 150 licensed providers that offer a full continuum of care through our integrated network. 

Learn more about Burrell’s programs and services at