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CFO grants $200,000 to Burrell, Healthy Living Alliance collaboration

June 19, 2023

Grants begin three-year effort to reduce stigma, lower suicide rate in Springfield metro area

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks has granted a total of $200,000 in the Advancing Mental Wellness Grant Program to a collaboration led by Burrell Behavioral Health and Healthy Living Alliance of the Ozarks. This new grant program will run for three years, providing a total of $600,000 to the collaborative projects if grant-renewal guidelines are met.

Relying on the expertise of both organizations, the funded projects will use multiple strategies to reduce stigma associated with seeking care for mental health, with the primary goal of reducing the suicide rate among men in the Springfield metro area.

As the Springfield area’s state-designated Community Mental Health Center, Burrell provides a broad continuum of mental health and substance-use recovery services for youth and adults. Burrell launched its Be Well Initiatives in 2020 as a way for its staff and the community to remain virtually connected to resources and each other, and to promote self-care best practices. Be Well has since expanded its experiences to business environments, live community events and more.

Burrell’s ONE (Our Networks Engaged) movement, launched in 2021, helps businesses train staff and implement in-house suicide prevention measures. Both Be Well and ONE will be deployed within the scope of this grant in cooperation with the HLA.

HLA is a collaborative of more than 40 health and community organizations, including Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Burrell Behavioral Health, CoxHealth, Mercy Springfield, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, the CFO and others. CPO serves as HLA’s fiscal sponsor.

“As the CFO worked to identify solutions to such a challenging need, we quickly realized collaboration would be key to the program’s success,” said Bridget Dierks, vice president of programs of the CFO. “The organizations involved in this project are local leaders in mental and public health, and we are confident their efforts will save lives.”

The Advancing Mental Wellness grant selection committee includes Judith Gonzalez, Sarah Moody, Kyler Sherman-Wilkens and Katie Towns.

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