Burrell Behavioral closes 4 locations in northern Arkansas

HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) – Burrell Behavioral Health announced the closure of four community mental health clinics in northern Arkansas.

Arkansas clinics include locations in Rogers, Springdale, Harrison, and Mountain Home. Springfield-based services have been operating in Arkansas since merging with Youthbridge Inc. in May 2019. Burrell said it was “unable to overcome sustained and significant losses in the Arkansas region while operating under best industry practices”.

Burrell is instrumental in providing behavior therapy to children through local school districts.

“We have a large portion of our students who receive mental health services through Burrell. They have been great advocates for our students helping them with any mental health issues they face,” said Dr. Ryan Huff, Superintendent of Omaha Schools. “It’s more of a band-aid approach at this point. We are going to offer telemedicine. Whenever you talk about mental health services, you need a counselor or therapist to meet that child, face to face is very important.

Small school districts like Omaha and Alpena need to find a replacement. The closures cause a great deal of concern among the parents of the children.

“Already in Boone County, there’s such a shortage of therapists, and it’s going to be even worse now that Burrell is paying them to go to Missouri,” said a Boone County parent with several children who are receiving some type of therapy. “Burrell advertises all the time that they are trauma informed and want to be there when trauma strikes. But what they are doing is causing even greater trauma in this area.

Burrell Behavior provided KY3 with a statement that reads in full:

Burrell Behavioral Health has made the incredibly difficult decision to close our in-person clinics and end customer services in Arkansas effective June 30, 2022.

We recognize the disruption and inconvenience this decision is causing to Arkansas partners and customers, however, our sustained and significant financial losses in the state have made it inevitable. The continued care of our clients is our most important concern at this time, and we are committed to helping them find alternative resources in their community.

Burrell Arkansas employees who can dual-license have the option to stay with Burrell and serve Missouri customers remotely. However, Burrell does not restrict those who wish to remain in their assigned districts or work for other local providers from doing so. We are confident that these vendors are doing meaningful work and are proud that they continue to serve in their areas of passion and expertise, whether at Burrell or elsewhere.

Finally, because Missouri has established a system of care that provides seamless integration of quality care and sustainable structures, these closures do not affect services or access to services in the rest of our system.

Yet many continue to search for the sequel.

“Long term, I’d like to see someone here on staff, either on staff or under contract, to provide full-time services here on campus,” the same parent said.

Of approximately 85 Arkansas employees, 42 will lose their jobs and have the option of applying for open positions at Burrell, working remotely or relocating to Missouri. Others who are eligible to be licensed in Missouri and Arkansas will have the option to stay with Burrell and offer virtual services in Missouri.

Burrell plans to keep his Rogers office open as a “landing point” for virtual providers serving Missouri customers. There will be no physical customer service.

The Omaha School District says it will provide telemedicine therapy. It also has a “para-professional therapist” on campus in the fall through Chenal Family Therapy in Harrison.

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