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Kohl’s donates $5 million to Children’s Wisconsin to enhance mental health services

Read the full story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Kohl’s announced a $5 million gift to Children’s Wisconsin to help launch a multi-year mental health strategy to improve mental health services for Wisconsin kids and their families. The grant will directly address the state’s need for greater access to mental health services for children and generate awareness about the impact a child’s mental health has on his or her holistic well-being.

“Kohl’s shares Children’s Wisconsin’s commitment to children’s health and wellness, and we’re proud to elevate our nearly 20-year partnership with this amazing institution,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer. “We applaud the efforts Children’s Wisconsin is making to break down barriers and increase access to services and resources that support mental wellness by addressing stress, anxiety, trauma, depression, and other issues that so many kids across the country face today.”

Children’s Wisconsin will devote Kohl’s funding to mental health access, early detection, prevention, education, and awareness through:

  • The expansion of school-based mental and behavioral health services

  • The introduction of new and refined system-wide screening tools

  • Mental health programming research

  • A state-wide awareness campaign

“This incredibly generous gift will jumpstart numerous initiatives and expand programs that strengthen our mental health strategy,” said Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Wisconsin. “We are so thankful that Kohl’s believes in our vision that Wisconsin kids will be the healthiest in the nation — physically, mentally and socially. Sadly, Wisconsin ranks extremely low in meeting the mental health needs of our kids.”

The need for mental health service is increasing, as reported by the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health. In the group’s 2017 annual report, one in five Wisconsin kids under the age of 18 had a mental or behavioral health disorder in the last year. At the same time, according to the State of Mental Health in American 2018 report, Wisconsin is ranked 50th in terms of youth access to mental health services.

Since 2000, Kohl's and Kohl’s Cares have donated more than $15 million to Children’s Wisconsin. The long-standing partnership between Kohl’s and Children’s Wisconsin is rooted in creating new and exciting programs focused on kids' health and education. Most recently, Kohl’s and Children’s Wisconsin launched Mission: Healthy Kids, a program that helps Wisconsin kids and families learn how to eat right, stay fit and feel good about their bodies.