After more than a decade of transformation in how Milwaukee County delivers mental health services, there are now two milestone dates on the calendar.
September 6: New county mental health emergency center opens.
Sept. 9: The closure of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex and Mental Crisis Services hospital near Wauwatosa has become an emotional spark for conversations about crisis access, mental health and substance use care in the Milwaukee area. .
The new center was deliberately relocated near the downtown Milwaukee area at 1525 N. 12th St. in the city’s King Park neighborhood west of Interstate 43.
According to health officials, more than 90% of current patients visiting the Wauwatosa-based complex are Milwaukee residents, and 71% of them are in 53205 ZIP Code (where the new center is located) or in the 10 adjacent ZIP Codes. live in either .
Its relocation and redesign are county inclusions that ensure Milwaukee residents have a “No Wrong Door” policy regarding access to behavioral health services, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. measures are being introduced.
This new model is supported by a public-private partnership of the Center between Milwaukee County, Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, Froedtert Health, West Allis-based behavioral health hospital Granite Hills Hospital and other community-based services. I’m here.
“It’s a historic shift in how people at risk of mental health and substance use are viewed in our communities by the health system and county,” said Behavioral Health Services Administrator Michael Rappen. increase
“For the first time, we’re looking at what’s best for the people who need this service, and making it a better experience for them compared to our previous system, which really didn’t do enough. We are focused.”
Rappen said it would be “a center of excellence serving not just the county, but the entire community.”
The move to linking with community-based care includes community health centers such as Access Clinic, located within the 16th Street Community Health Center and affiliated with Outreach Community Health Healers, and Lisbon Avenue Health, a progressive community health center. Includes Team Connect 2.0 in the Center.
This is a shift away from traditional reliance on emergency hospitalization-centric systems to systems that “seek to create access to high-quality, culturally-appropriate behavioral health care closer to the people we serve.” Illustrating the Transition. Director, Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services.
The ultimate goal is to connect residents to faster and easier mental health care and reduce the stigma around seeking support.
“We are more people-centered,” she said. “The goal is that if they need to go to the center, we can meet their needs before they have to go to the center.”
Built in 1978, the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex suffered from understaffing, sexual assault, and chronically unsafe conditions among its patients, nurses, and workers.
A decade ago, the Journal Sentinel chronicled devastating stories of substandard care in hospitals that endangered patients, exposing a mental health system directed toward costly inpatient care and emergency room services. Did.
archive:For 40 years, people have been talking about reforming the mental health system in Milwaukee County. It’s time to act.
“The closure of the mental health complex is the result of several years of careful analysis, planning, and public-private collaboration, and marks significant progress that Milwaukee County has made toward its goal of transforming its behavioral health system. Shows .forum, wrote in a statement.
The 2010 Wisconsin Policy Forum report on transforming Milwaukee County’s adult mental health care system laid the groundwork to provide a holistic redesign of the center and its countywide partnerships.
Changes over the past decade include the creation of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Commission in 2014, the creation of the Crisis Assessment Response Team in partnership with the Milwaukee Police Department, and the Crisis Mobility Team for non-police mobile response.
Earlier this year, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Milwaukee County Rep. David Crowley toured the center, giving them a semi-public glimpse inside the newly built facility.
“This is an important milestone in the redesign of Milwaukee County’s behavioral health system,” county administrator David Crowley told the Journal Sentinel. close to those who need them most. ”
By April, the center had about 50% of the staff needed to run the new site, according to Kevin Kluesner, manager of the new emergency center.
With less than a month to go before the opening, Kluesner didn’t provide the latest numbers. In a statement to Journal Sentinel, he said the center is staffed when he opens on the morning of September 6 and will continue to actively recruit members of the nursing, clinical, and public safety teams. I said yes.
The new site expects about 70% of patients to be adults and 30% to be children, officials said.
The physical redesign of the center features separate entrances for voluntary and involuntary patients, as well as a much larger separate space for treating children. Multilingual services are also available onsite.
“We did everything we could to make this space as comfortable as possible,” Rappen said.
Those experiencing behavioral problems or crisis can call the Crisis Line at 414-257-7222. Families with children or young people in crisis should call Children’s Mobile Crisis (CMC) at 414-257-7621.
Contact Vanessa Swales at 414-308-5881 or [email protected]. follow her on her twitter @Vanessa_Swales.