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Burrell Behavioral Health Consultant joins Columbia/Boone County WIC Program

Monday, Feb. 22 was the first day for a new partnership for Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services and Burrell Behavioral Health. A Burrell Licensed Clinical Social Worker is now part of the permanent WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) service team, with the goal of expanding access to behavioral healthcare to mothers and young children as part of their overall WIC experience.

“We are excited about this partnership to conduct screenings for behavioral health concerns with mothers and children. When caregivers raise concerns or problems are evident during WIC services, the only option previously was to refer the family to an outside service. By partnering with Burrell, we are able to address behavioral health concerns within our facility,” Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Director Stephanie Browning said.

The WIC Licensed Clinical Social Worker brings more than 15 years of experience in the field to the new partnership. They will provide three basic services: (a) screening/assessment, (b) brief intervention and (c) consultation to agents of WIC.

While nutrition is the core focus of WIC services, WIC families typically experience a range of stressors beyond food security. These mothers are at increased risk for depression and anxiety, which, untreated, can pose significant risk for problems in infant health and development as well as increased risk for abuse and neglect.

“By making it easy for mothers to connect to care, we’ll be able to address pre and post-partum concerns early and minimize the risk of harm to mothers and children that come when these problems go untreated,” said Burrell Behavioral Health Director of Pediatric Integration Dr. Kristen Thompson.

Research shows that when a direct, same-day introduction to a behavioral health provider is made, the chance of an individual following through with needed behavioral health services increases dramatically. This is the work of integration. That is why Burrell has made it a priority to enter into partnerships like this one with WIC, to increase access to behavioral health services.

About Burrell Behavioral Health:

Burrell Behavioral Health is the second largest behavioral health center in Missouri, working with more than 40,000 clients across 25 counties in Missouri and Arkansas. Burrell has more than 400 licensed providers offering a full continuum of care through our integrated network. Services include individual therapy and counseling, addiction recovery, psychiatric and medication management, educational and therapeutic groups, crisis intervention, medication-assisted treatment, adult stabilization, case management, residential treatment, autism, diagnostic testing and evaluations and developmental disability support. Learn more about Burrell’s programs and services at www.burrellcenter.com.

About Columbia/Boone County WIC:

Columbia/Boone County’s WIC Program serves about 2,000 women and children per year. For more information about WIC or to make an appointment, visit the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services at 1005 W. Worley in Columbia or call 573-874-7384.


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