Burrell Behavioral Health announces new suicide prevention program

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:14 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Burrell Behavioral Health announced a new program called ONE or Our Networks Engaged.

The initiative’s goal is to get businesses, agencies, and all people in our community to start talking honestly about suicide.

Dr. Brandan Gremminger, Vice President of outpatient and access services at Burrell Behavioral Heath, said this training will help our community for the long run.

“I think this was needed now and was needed prior to now,” said Gremminger. “We know that most individuals were not born with a toolkit to talk about suicide and to talk honestly about suicide. We want to be able to share that with the communities within which we live.”

Burrell Behavioral Heath COO, Adam Andreassen, said businesses play a huge role in suicide prevention.

“We also know that one of the primary places where we have to collectively pool our resources better is in agencies and businesses,” said Andreassen. “Employers have such an important role to play in suicide prevention.”

The ONE initiative will give businesses and individuals free training on suicide prevention from professionals with different toolkits, informational settings, and maintaining awareness on mental health at home and in the workplace.

Dr. Gremminger explains one of these tools to help everyone better themselves.

“Q.P.R., question persuade referral, which is a nice and neat package to train persons who might not be mental health professionals,” said Gremminger. “How to do some of the basic checking on the ones that we care about to make sure that we are engaging in as much preventative care as we can.”

Both Andreassen and Gremminger said the pandemic has influenced this project as many people are having mental and emotional strains.

“But when you’re having a rough day at work, or rough day at home, you don’t always think well, this is because of COVID,” said Andreassen. “So in that sense, we absolutely expect a pandemic of mental health crises, so to speak.”

“Things that outline unemployment rates and their association with the pandemic, we are seeing literature come out showing increases in levels of despair among individuals, that could be related to a lot of things that are happening in the world right now, the pandemic being one,” said Gremminger.

Burrell Behavioral Health will have its ONE Summit on its Facebook page from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept 23. This will be an informational session on the programs and you will hear from businesses who have already taken the pledge.

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