Milwaukee County on Tuesday announced its Mental Health Emergency Center was one of five programs to receive a 2023 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo).
The county opened the new Mental Health Emergency center in September as a joint venture between Milwaukee County, Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension, Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert Health, county officials said. The public-private partnership resulted in investment in mental health services for adults, adolescents and children, officials added.
The center was a “key component” in redesigning a continuum of other community-based mental health service upgrades, such as expanded mobile crisis centers, new Federal Qualified Health Center-based walk-in Access Centers, expanded Crisis Resource Centers and the latest centrally located outpatient services for youth, county officials said.
It was a “major achievement” for the county and health systems in providing holistic, decriminalized, destigmatized and equitable mental health care, county officials added.
The county was also awarded for the Milwaukee County Strategy Dashboard, the Milwaukee Parks Foundation, Credible Messenger Program and the Milwaukee County Electronic Patient Care Records (ePCR) System.
“It’s an honor to have the work of Milwaukee County’s changemakers recognized by the National Association of Counties. We are committed to moving resources upstream and transforming county government into an organization dedicated to achieving race and health equity. Over the past three years, we’ve leaned on our values of transparency, accountability, and accessibility to implement a strategic plan that meets the wholistic needs of all our residents,” Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said in a statement.
The NACo program launched 50 years ago and this year’s winners were some of the most innovative and collaborative efforts the association had seen, NACo President Denise Winfrey said.
The Milwaukee County Office of Strategy, Budget, and Performance submitted the five submissions that won, county officials said.
As previously reported by The Daily Reporter, the new center at 1525 N. 12th St. had a startup cost of $18 million and takes the place of the former Mental Health Complex and Psychiatric Crisis Services.
The new construction was 13,150 square feet, according to Milwaukee architect EUA.