Wisconsin elected officials celebrate Mental Health Emergency Center in Milwaukee with beam-signing

NOW: Wisconsin elected officials celebrate Mental Health Emergency Center in Milwaukee with beam-signing

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- There will be a new, in-person option for people struggling with their mental health. Tuesday, Aug. 31, Gov. Tony Evers and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett took part in a beam-signing ceremony for a mental health emergency center in Milwaukee. 

It will be located at 1525 North 12th Street, next to the Milwaukee County Heath and Human Services building. It's meant to be a facility open 24 hours a day, every day, where children, teens, and adults can get immediate help for mental health crises. 

"Often one of the largest barriers to receiving support is knowing where to go for help," said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. "Which is why providing a center that offers easily accessible mental health-specific services right here in our community, is so important." 

The center is a joint venture between Milwaukee County and the county’s four health systems: Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, and Froedtert Health.

Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced $5.7 million in funding for the new center, $4.5 million of which will come from Wisconsin’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds allocated under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The remainder of the funding will come from carryover funding from the federal mental health block grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“We are committed to ensuring that Wisconsin workers, families, and communities are not only bouncing back from this pandemic financially, but that we are addressing the increased need for mental and behavioral healthcare and building healthy communities well into the future,” said Gov. Evers. “This facility will play a critical role in strengthening our mental healthcare infrastructure by expanding access to treatment and providing a wide range of options for people experiencing mental health crises to get the care they need.”

The Mental Health Emergency Center is planned to open in spring of 2022. The center will also serve as a training center for psychiatric medical residents and provide job opportunities both during construction and after opening.

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