The clinic’s licensed therapists, social workers, and clinic assistants are available to see patients from 3 to 9:30 p.m. through this Friday. The clinic will operate 7 days a week beginning March 14. Along with a guardian, children and teens ages 5-18 are welcome to walk in and receive access to care immediately, with no appointment or referral required. For the clinic schedule and to learn more about services provided, families should visit the clinic website at childrenswi.org/mentalhealthwalkin.
The new facility fills a critical gap in care for kids experiencing a mental health crisis, Children’s Wisconsin officials said.
“This clinic is a direct result of us listening to families who are telling us they need more options,” said Amy Herbst, Children’s Wisconsin vice president of mental and behavioral health, said in a news release. “We hope this clinic can provide a safe place for children in crisis to take a pause, talk with our specialists, and get the right care they need at the right time.”
Children’s Wisconsin officials have repeatedly cited a growing mental health crisis facing Wisconsin’s youth. Before the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, one in five children was living with mental illness and Wisconsin’s suicide rate was higher than most of the United States. Since the pandemic began, visits to the Children’s Wisconsin Emergency Department and Trauma Center (EDTC) for mental and behavioral health concerns have increased by 40 percent.
The new, walk-in clinic’s purpose is to provide immediate, temporary support, and is not a replacement for ongoing therapy or care by a mental health provider. The Mental Health Crisis Response Team in the Children’s Wisconsin EDTC remains a resource for children in life-threatening and emergency situations.
The clinic is named in recognition of a $20 million gift from The Yabuki Family Foundation. In 2017, Craig Yabuki died by suicide, leaving behind a wife and three young children. His brother, Jeff Yabuki, and his family are committed to helping Children’s Wisconsin transform the delivery of integrated mental and behavioral health care by supporting the addition of mental health providers to all of Children’s Wisconsin primary care offices and urgent care clinics.
About Children’s Wisconsin
Children’s Wisconsin is the region’s only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers