Burrell Hosts Forum on Mental Illness and Youth Violence

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- A youth mental health/violence forum was hosted by Springfield-based Burrell Behavioral Health on Tuesday. The health center says it wants to team up with local schools.

Four of the behavioral health center's administrators spoke to a small group of attending health experts and educators about the dangers of overlooking mental illness. 

Some, in an effort to put this issue in perspective, cited statistics about the frequency of youth mental illness and it's correlation with youth suicide.

Others offered to meet with local schools to assess that district's mental health needs and then work out mental health programs tailored to fit those needs. 

KOLR10 spoke with two of those Burrell administrators today to find out what kind of resources the center could even offer.

“So what we want to do is we want to partner and collaborate in such a way that we have behavioral health professionals embedded in every single school system," says Burrell President and CEO CJ Davis says.

“When a school identifies what their need is, and they want to partner with us,” says Burrell VP of School-Based Programming, Elizabeth Avery. “Then it's up to us to figure out how to provide that support to them. Having the opportunity to bring mental health experts into schools and assist in school faculty is great. There's also potential for prevention programs. If they want to have groups facilitated to support students who have been exposed to trauma. Or it's been requested to have groups that's focusing on cyberbullying."

Burrell says one in five people will suffer from a mental illness and effects can be seen as early as fourteen.

We were also told suicide is the third leading cause of death for people between 14 and 24. 

It's that kind of self-harm and violence the behavioral health experts at Burrell say they want to prevent. 

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