Children's Wisconsin receives $15M donation toward mental, behavioral health

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Children's Wisconsin has received their largest single donation in history.

The hospital launched a $15 million challenge to support the health system's $150 million commitment to address the mental and behavioral health needs of kids.

According to a press release, an anonymous donor then pledged $15 million to match dollar-for-dollar donations to Children's Wisconsin that are designated to support mental and behavioral health services. 

In 2019, Children's announced seven initiatives to help address mental and behavioral health that would double the number of mental and behavioral health providers the system employs. 

The hospital says the five-year plan was developed to detect mental and behavioral health needs sooner, improve access to services and reduce the stigma around the illness.

The initiatives are:

  • Universal screening for mental health

       Expanding screening for depression and anxiety throughout the health system, regardless of the reason for the visit.

  • Early childhood mental health

       Creating a hub to anchor and coordinate the work of multiple specialists and programs providing early childhood mental health.

  • School-based mental and behavioral health

       Expanding school-based programs throughout Wisconsin.

  • Integrated mental and behavioral health

       Offering integrated mental and behavioral health services in the primary care offices and specialty clinics.

  • Therapist fellowship program

       Providing training and stipends to master’s-level therapists to help them earn their licenses and join the workforce sooner.

  • Urgent and emergent mental health

       Offering a dedicated, fully-staffed pediatric psychiatric assessment team and space in the Children’s emergency department.

  • Partnerships with inpatient and residential care providers

       Improving inpatient and residential access and care through Children’s partnership with other health systems.

Children's estimated that $150 million would need to be invested to implement these plans.

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