Wisconsin aims at reforming mental health response system

Metro Wire Staff

The Department of Justice has organized a coalition to address problems with the state’s mental health system.

A task force of law enforcement, hospitals, medical professionals, county and state health services, counties, mental health advocates, and legal professionals will announce their recommendations to reform Wisconsin’s emergency detention process and increase the availability of behavioral health services.

Representatives from the group will hold a press conference on Thursday to answer the media’s questions about their recommendations.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul; Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake, Wisconsin Department of Health Services; Walworth Co. Sheriff Kurt Picknell; Eric Borgerding, President and CEO of Wisconsin Hospital Association; Mary Kay Battaglia, Executive Director, NAMI Wisconsin; and Kathi Cauley, Jefferson Co. Human Services Director, will discuss the issue with the press on Feb. 11.

More than $75 million has been set aside in Gov. Tony Evers’ 2021-23 budget to help address problems in the state’s mental health system, to include additional grants and programs for students in public schools, and reforming crisis intervention and emergency detention.