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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
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Pat Coleman

President & CEO

Behavioral Health Response (BHR)

Location: St. Louis, MO

Founded: 1994

Industry: Behavioral Health

Mental health services and awareness have changed dramatically since Behavioral Health Response was founded in 1994, but the agency’s mission remains the same: to ensure immediate, barrier-free access to behavioral health care.

As president and CEO, Pat Coleman is responsible for spearheading and executing that mission. BHR leverages the latest technology and knowledge in our everyday practice to provide the best possible care to every caller, every day.

In the last year, Coleman led BHR to launch its 988 lifeline partnership with the Missouri Department of Mental Health and BHR’s 911 divergent program in partnership with the city of St. Louis and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. BHR handles about 40% of Missouri’s 988 calls — a suicide and crisis lifeline — and is also one of 12 centers chosen as a national backup for 988 calls from anywhere in the country. The 911 divergent program sends mental-health-related calls from the police department to trained clinicians. In some cases, a trained crisis response clinician will travel with police responding to mental health, substance use, trauma and other related events. Coleman calls BHR’s involvement in these two programs her “greatest accomplishment over the past year.”

Despite her success, Coleman recognizes that she doesn’t have all the answers, and she relies on her team to help solve problems and push ahead.

“It takes a village to solve complex issues and everyone — from senior leadership down to emerging leaders — should have a voice to express ideas and ways to improve,” she said. “When you provide opportunities for everyone to share their valuable input, complex problems become easier to solve. Town hall meetings, round table discussions, surveys, department brainstorming and best practice scenarios are ways to conquer complex issues. I believe we all have ideas and suggestions to improve problems. It’s when you listen and allow all voices to be heard, the solutions come forth easier and faster.”

Coleman feels a responsibility to give back and mentor others where she can. She maintains an open-door policy at work. She said that she walks through the office and seeks out conversations with members of her team to let them know they are valued. Coleman also has a passion for mentoring young Black women, she said.

“When I see a young leader embracing my leadership development and suggestions, it energizes me to do more,” Coleman said. “To see her modeling what I’ve shared with her is one way I feel I’ve made a difference. Additionally, when I introduce my mentee to other leaders, and she shows up prepared, committed and appreciative of the opportunity, it tells me she is devoted to the career growth process. I’ve been blessed with a mentor, and I believe it’s my duty to give back and pay it forward.”

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I am humbled by this esteemed recognition and feel empowered to continue developing a growth mindset to improve and succeed. The Titan 100 platform has allowed me to expand my leadership network and learn from others. It’s a special kinship with colleagues who value their teams, clients, vendors, and people they serve. The recognition serves an ongoing responsibility and reminder for me to always lead with empathy, kindness, and openness.

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