A new facility in Springfield will help local doctors and law enforcement deal with mental health emergencies without having to use emergency rooms or jail facilities.
Burrell Behavioral Health opened their Rapid Access Unit at 800 South Park in Springfield. The center is a Crisis Point for individuals who need immediate psychiatric care, treatment for opioid abuse, or intake for behavioral health services.
The center will eventually provide services 24-hour services. In the initial weeks of the center, they will be open Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m..
The center is a partnership between Burrell and local county and city officials. The goal is to provide an alternative for already overloaded emergency rooms and jails for someone who is a mental health crisis. The partnership received ringing endorsements from police chief Paul Williams, Springfield-Greene County Health Department head Clay Goddard, and Greene County Commissioner (and longtime mental health care advocate) Harold Bengsch.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Bengsch told OI. “If you want to say it’s perfect, the timing, it couldn’t have been a better time than right now. It gives an alternative to jail to law enforcement for people and this gets those people help.”
When asked what it meant to him to see this facility after years of advocating for more mental health treatment in the city, Bengsch went straight to the point.
“One word: wonderful,” Bengsch said.