Children’s Wisconsin will open a mental health walk-in clinic in Kenosha by the end of 2023. The service will be provided at the Children’s Wisconsin Kenosha Clinic, with the specific start date determined by the recruitment and training of needed staff and providers.
The new location is possible thanks to a $3 million commitment from Kohl’s, announced in May, to support the opening of mental health walk-in clinics. The plan is to explore the opportunity to open additional mental health walk-in clinics in the coming years, influenced by our experience in Kenosha and considering community need.
Potential candidates can visit childrenswi.org/careers and search for positions in Kenosha to see what positions are open.
The Kenosha Mental Health Walk-In Clinic will offer similar services to those provided at the Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic on the Children’s Wisconsin Milwaukee campus. That clinic was a first-of-its-kind in Wisconsin when it opened in March of 2022. In the first year the clinic was open, it supported over 1,500 kids across Wisconsin and northern Illinois. About 10 percent of those families came from Kenosha, Walworth and Racine counties, a factor in choosing Kenosha as the location for the second clinic.
“We chose Kenosha, most importantly, because we know there is an urgent need for it,” said Amy Herbst, MSSW, APSW, vice president of mental and behavioral health at Children’s Wisconsin. “We have 100 kids on the waiting list for therapy at our Kenosha, Mount Pleasant and Walworth clinics, and that doesn’t include the hundreds of kids likely waiting with other health systems. These kids need our help now, not months from now.”
The walk-in clinics provide immediate mental health support to kids 5-18 years old and are staffed with licensed therapists and social workers. The clinics offer a therapy session, safety evaluation and support in connecting families to long-term resources either through Children’s Wisconsin or in the community. The clinic provides support until those long-term resources are in place.
“The opening of the walk-in will help families who have not accessed mental health services before, who can’t arrange an appointment with their established mental health provider or who need support during the evening and weekend and their established provider isn’t available,” Herbst said.
The Kenosha Mental Health Walk-In Clinic adds to other efforts to improve mental health services in the area. Children’s Wisconsin has incorporated licensed therapists at all Children’s Wisconsin primary care locations, including Kenosha Pediatrics and Lakeside Pediatrics. Known as behavioral health consultants, these therapists work alongside pediatricians to transform how primary care is provided by assessing and addressing mental and behavioral health alongside a child’s physical health. In addition, there is a growing number of therapists in Kenosha and Racine schools, including many Children’s Wisconsin therapists. Students who attend schools with therapists can get help to manage a range of needs, from helping to manage daily stresses of school to addressing more serious concerns like depression and anxiety. When appropriate, these resources will be leveraged by the walk-in clinic team to provide more ongoing support for kids and families.
The new walk-in clinic is the latest commitment of Children’s Wisconsin to ensure that every child’s mental health is as important as their physical health. In 2019, Children’s Wisconsin made a 5-year, $150 million commitment to address the mental and behavioral health crisis facing Wisconsin kids by detecting needs sooner, improving access to care, raising awareness of mental health and advancing research and education.
Kohl’s donation is made possible through Kohl’s philanthropic program, Kohl’s Cares®, which sells children’s books and toys and donates 100 percent of the net profit to support the health and wellness of families in our communities nationwide.
Kohl’s was among the first to support the vision Children’s Wisconsin had to improve mental health access, committing $5 million in 2019 to expand school-based mental health services, introduce mental health screening tools and support an awareness campaign on mental health needs. Since 2001, Kohl's has committed more than $23 million to Children’s Wisconsin to help Wisconsin’s kids live stronger, healthier lives. The long-standing partnership is rooted in creating new and exciting programs focused on kids' health and education, and in recent years has focused on addressing the mental health crisis.