Burrell Behavioral Health and Tyson Foods, Inc. have partnered to improve the lives of Northwest Arkansas families by providing free counseling and behavioral health services through Burrell to scores of young people.

Last year, Tyson donated $50,000 to Burrell, paying for more than 400 hours of professional counseling services for 80 youth in Northwest Arkansas who were previously unenrolled or unable to afford such care. Referrals to this program came from a variety of community partners, including Northwest Arkansas Head Start (Benton County), Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter, Arkansas Immigration Defense, and the Springdale and Rogers school districts.

The donation was part of Tyson’s corporate social responsibility efforts, which are aimed at supporting communities where Tyson employees live and work, as well as our communities at large.

Kids in Arkansas experience more trauma – or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – than youth in any other state in the U.S., according to a study published in 2018 by the advocacy group Child Trends. The effects of this trauma can stay with them for the rest of their lives, which makes access to quality, affordable behavioral health services essential to youth and their families.

“Tyson Foods recognizes the importance of mental health services, and we’re proud to support Burrell Youth Services,” said Garrett Dolan, senior manager, corporate social responsibility, Tyson Foods. “The counseling services they provide are critical for families in our community.”

A video highlighting the Tyson-Burrell partnership, as well as each organization’s commitment to the well-being of our communities, has been produced and is available for view at https://youtu.be/hCSdsuYviXo or for download at https://we.tl/t-BCNAWf3RC6.

For Burrell, which merged with Arkansas-based Youth Bridge, Inc., in 2019, this partnership not only helps expand the organization’s mission of providing care to the underserved and underinsured, but signifies a key moment in its commitment to Northwest Arkansas. This expansion provides youth and adults with a broad array of behavioral health services including outpatient counseling and therapy, psychiatry, community- and school-based services, and more.

“Collaborations like the one with Tyson are critical to reaching kids and families who previously have been unable to receive care in Northwest Arkansas,” said Elizabeth Avery, President of Burrell’s Arkansas Region. “We are incredibly grateful to Tyson for this investment in our kids. These services will provide hope and healing at a time when youth need it most.”

The impact of mental illness on youth:

  • One in four youth will experience a diagnosable mental illness at some point in their lifetimes.
  • For half of these youth, onset of this mental illness will begin during their childhood or adolescent years.
  • On average, in children, there is an eight to ten year gap between the onset of mental illness symptoms and their first treatment.
  • It is the goal of Burrell’s Youth Services department to close this gap through community conversation, education and engagement with schools, community partners and medical providers.