MILWAUKEE — Children's Wisconsin is set to open a new walk-in clinic for children struggling with urgent mental health needs.
The Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic will be opened inside the Clinics Building of Children’s Wisconsin Hospital-Milwaukee at 8920 W. Connell Ct. They hope to have the clinic up and running sometime early this year - as soon as the needed staff are hired and trained, Children's explained in a statement on Monday.
The clinic will help children ages 5 to 18. They hope to provide services seven days a week from 3-11 p.m.
How the clinic will work is staff there will give evaluations and then determine if there are any immediate safety concerns. Those concerns will be passed on to the child's existing doctors and therapists to make sure the patient has the resources they need following the visit to the clinic.
But when occasions do arise, the clinic will have a psychiatrist. The Mental Health Crisis Response Team in the Children’s Wisconsin Emergency Department and Trauma Center will also remain a resource for children in life-threatening and emergency situations, according to Children's.
Children's emphasized in their announcement that the clinic's purpose is to give "immediate, temporary support," and is not a replacement for continuing therapy or care from a mental health provider.
The need for the clinic became even more necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children's states that before COVID-19 arrived, one in five children was living with mental illness, and the state's suicide rate was higher than most of the U.S.
Since the pandemic began, Children's says visits to their Emergency Department and Trauma Center have increased by 40 percent.
The new clinic is part of Children's effort to invest $150 million in mental health programs for youth in Wisconsin.
View the guide below for more mental health resources: