In a significant step toward addressing the mental health needs of children, Kenosha is set to welcome a new walk-in mental health clinic for children later this year.
Operated by Children’s Wisconsin and situated within its Kenosha clinic location, this facility marks the second of its kind in the state, following the successful launch of the Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic in Wauwatosa last year.
The clinic will provide crucial immediate mental health support to children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 18, aiming to bridge the gap in accessible mental health care for the youth.
Immediate Support At The Mental Health Clinic For Children
The upcoming clinic, staffed by therapists and social workers, will offer essential immediate mental health assistance to children and adolescents who require it most.
Amy Herbst, Vice President of Mental and Behavioral Health at Children’s Wisconsin, highlighted the comprehensive services the clinic will provide.
These include therapy sessions, safety risk assessments, grief intervention therapy, referrals, and support in transitioning to ongoing care.
Herbst emphasized that the services offered will be tailored to meet the specific needs of children and their families. “It’s all based on what the kids and the families determine their need to be,” Herbst stated.
The clinic’s primary focus is to ensure immediate access to mental health care whenever children and families feel it is necessary.
The Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic in Wauwatosa, which became the first of its kind in Wisconsin when it opened in March 2022, has already provided invaluable support to more than 1,500 children in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Importantly, it has extended its reach to serve around 150 families from Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth Counties in Milwaukee County.
Amy Herbst explained that the decision to open the Kenosha clinic was strongly motivated by the community’s urgent need for such services.
Recognizing the gap in accessible mental health care, Children’s Wisconsin seeks to address this need through the expansion of services to Kenosha.
In May, Kohl’s made a significant contribution with a $3 million donation aimed at facilitating the establishment of three new clinics across Wisconsin, one of which is the Kenosha clinic.
While the locations of the other two clinics are yet to be disclosed, Eden Christman, a Mental and Behavioral Health Manager at Children’s Wisconsin, highlighted the widespread demand for mental health services across the state.
Christman emphasized that in some less densely populated or rural communities, there exists a significant unmet need for mental health services.
The expansion of clinics aims to bridge this gap and provide accessible mental health care to children across Wisconsin.
One of the noteworthy features of the clinic is its open-door policy. Families and children can visit the clinic without prior appointments, ensuring immediate access to essential mental health care.
This approach is particularly beneficial for those who may be uncomfortable with emergency room visits or don’t wish to wait until their child’s next scheduled therapy appointment.
Amy Herbst explained that many children who visit the clinic may not have previously experienced mental health concerns.
However, on the day of their visit, they may be grappling with severe anxiety or depression, often driven by a sudden onset of these conditions.
Eden Christman added that the clinic serves as an invaluable immediate service option for children in need of urgent mental health care.
Disturbingly, recent data from the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health indicates that 66 percent of young girls across the state struggle with anxiety, and 50 percent feel sad and hopeless almost daily.
The impending arrival of the walk-in mental health clinic in Kenosha signifies a significant milestone in addressing the mental health needs of children in the region.
With its open-door policy, comprehensive services, and community-driven approach, this clinic promises to be a crucial lifeline for children and families seeking immediate mental health support.
Its launch reflects a broader commitment to prioritize the mental well-being of youth and to provide them with the resources they need to thrive.