Children’s Wisconsin announced last month the official opening of the Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic.
Milwaukee With Kids is proud to be partnering with Children’s Wisconsin to spread the word about their mental health initiatives.
Located on the second level of the Clinics Building at the Children’s Wisconsin Milwaukee campus, this clinic is a first-of-its-kind in the state and fills a critical gap in care for kids experiencing a mental health crisis.
Licensed therapists, social workers, and clinic assistants are available to see patients from 3-9:30 p.m.
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.
Children’s Wisconsin staff provide evaluations and determine any immediate safety concerns, and then communicate with a child’s existing doctors and therapists to ensure continuing resources are available after the visit. The purpose of the clinic 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 Emergency Department and Trauma Center (EDTC) will remain a resource for children in life-threatening and emergency situations.
“This clinic is a direct result of us listening to families who are telling us they need more options,” said Amy Herbst, MSSW, APSW, vice president of mental and behavioral health, Children’s Wisconsin. “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.”
There is a growing mental health crisis facing Wisconsin’s youth. Before the pandemic, 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 EDTC for mental and behavioral health concerns have increased by 40 percent.
Research indicates that more than half of individuals who struggle with mental health conditions in their lifetime start experiencing symptoms before the age of 14. Yet the average length of time between when symptoms appear and treatment begins is often more than 10 years. This underscores the urgency in changing how mental health services are provided to kids.
This clinic is the latest step by Children’s Wisconsin to invest $150 million in mental health programs that address this crisis.
The name of the clinic is 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. Their donation directly supports the addition of mental health providers to all of Children’s Wisconsin primary care offices and urgent care clinics. The gift is not directly supporting the walk-in clinic.