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To address men’s mental health, Burrell’s Be Well Initiative to host free event at Hammons Field

On Saturday, April 27, Burrell Behavioral Health’s Be Well Initiatives team will host the Men’s Mental Health League, an effort to address the Springfield area’s high male suicide rate by encouraging open discussion and practicing healthy activities.

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April 4, 2024

On Saturday, April 27, Burrell Behavioral Health’s Be Well Initiatives team will host a unique, free event at Hammons Field that will focus on men’s suicide prevention. The Men’s Mental Health League is an effort to address the Springfield area’s above-average male suicide rate by encouraging open discussion and practicing healthy activities at the home of the Springfield Cardinals.

Participants will get opportunities to take to the field and also hear from Drew Robinson, former professional baseball player and current Mental Health Advocate for the San Francisco Giants, about his efforts to address his own mental health needs following a survived suicide attempt. It’s a powerful story he’s shared with ESPN, the Athletic and across the country in an effort to encourage others to get help.

The event is the first in a series of efforts to address and lower the suicide mortality rate in the Springfield area; it is funded through a multiyear, $300,000 grant generously provided by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. While the event is targeted for adult male participants, all are welcome to attend.

“We wish to build belonging, knowing that wellness requires inclusion,” said Nia Howard, Program and Engagement Leader with Be Well Initiatives. “It is through trusting relationships that we build conversations to reduce the stigma related to discussing mental health. Mental health is an important part of our whole health and wellness, and we ALL deserve it.”

There will be open, honest discussions centered around suicide prevention. Those discussions are paired with events designed to encourage a relaxed dialogue around serious topics, including:

  • An on-field warm-up led by Louie, the Springfield Cardinals mascot, following complimentary coffee and donuts
  • Three rounds of prize raffles
  • Brain science exercises led by the Be Well team
  • Opportunities to play catch and take some swings on Hammons Field

“Playing catch teaches us to pay attention to each other,” said Ethan Bryan, a guest speaker at the event and author of “A Year of Playing Catch: What a Simple Daily Experiment Taught Me About Life.” “It's a simple way of establishing trust, and it opens the door for curiosity, joy and connection. When you play catch, conversations take place that cover all of life. Those conversations can literally change a life.”

If you or someone you know would be interested in joining, please consider signing up! The first 300 to register at this Formstack link will also receive a voucher for a Springfield Cardinals game in May, coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month.


24-Hour Crisis Line

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis, please call our toll-free 24-hour telephone line. Our team can help provide immediate assistance.

Southwest Missouri: 1-800-494-7355

Central Missouri: 1-800-395-2132

National Help Line: Call or Text 988