FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA)– A struggling Northwest Arkansas non-profit is merging with a Springfield, MO. organization to provide more behavioral health services to our local children and families.
Combining Burrell Behavioral Health and Youth Bridge will give the two agencies the responsibility of nearly two million lives, spanning across 25 counties in two different states.
The merger is not only expanding who the organizations are serving, it’s expanding the range of services offered.
This ensures our Northwest Arkansas youth and families have access to the services they need.
“There are families, especially kids, that are out there suffering in silence that need service, that don’t know where to turn,” said C.J. Davis, the president and CEO of Burrell Behavioral Health. “Far too long in the behavioral health industry, it’s been under served and understaffed.”
Davis is merging his Springfield, MO. not-for-profit organization with Fayetteville-based Youth Bridge.
This will expand behavioral health services to over 25 counties in Missouri and Arkansas.
Davis said, “Our goal really is to make sure that any child, any adolescent, and family in Northwest Arkansas who needs service, gets service.”
Service is something that’s been increasingly tough for Youth Bridge to offer, with the number of clients doubling and the amount of funding staying the same
Darryl Rhoda, the president of Youth Bridge, said “I’ve got my staff stretched thin and I’m cutting costs in order to deliver services. You can only cut so many expenses until some point you start effecting the quality of the care.”
But Rhoda said it isn’t just his organization, it’s a growing trend.
“There’s a lot of agencies struggling. A lot,” he said.
With the new partnership, Davis said he hopes to move from 200 employees to 400 or 500.
As far as clients go, Rhoda said “there’s potential also of adding an adult division here which is something we have not been able to do in the past.”
Davis said, “We offer services from cradle to grave. As young as three to as long as the lifespan will take you.”
Rhoda said the merger with Burrell has been somewhat of a saving grace.
“We’ve had too much to say grace over. So now we’ve got more help, a lot of expertise. It’s just been a relief to get that extra help,” he said.