Children’s Wisconsin is excited to announce a $3 million commitment from Kohl’s that will support the opening of three additional mental health walk-in clinic locations in Wisconsin. The new locations will offer similar services to those provided at the Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic on the Children’s Wisconsin Milwaukee campus. The intent is to open one location each year over the next three years. Locations of the new clinics have not yet been selected, but will be spread throughout Wisconsin.
“The mental health issues impacting today’s youth are of the utmost importance, and we applaud the work Children’s Wisconsin has been doing to prioritize and develop tangible solutions to support mental wellness for all children,” said Christie Raymond, Kohl’s chief marketing officer. “Through our continued partnership, Kohl’s is proud to play a role in increasing access to critical mental health services and creating pathways to greater health and well-being for kids across Wisconsin.”
“Wisconsin kids are telling us what kids all over the country have been telling us — this is a crisis,” said Amy Herbst, MSSW, APSW, vice president of mental and behavioral health at Children’s Wisconsin. “We are so grateful that Kohl’s recognizes the urgency in addressing this need and continues to support these efforts. We know that more Wisconsin kids will begin a path to better health and healing because of their gift.”
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. Opened in March 2022, the Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic in Milwaukee is the only mental health walk-in clinic in the state and has supported more than 1,000 kids. Around 50 percent of the kids were from Milwaukee County, but families traveled from as far away as Manitowoc and Chicago to receive immediate care, highlighting the need for more resources statewide.
Data from the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health shows that in 2022, anxiety, depression, and suicide reports were up, with 34 percent of Wisconsin students feeling sad and hopeless almost every day. That’s a 10 percent increase over the last 10 years. In addition, 22 percent of Wisconsin high school students reported physically harming themselves, and 52 percent reported anxiety. This is consistent with the concerns seen by mental health providers at the Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic over the last year. The vast majority of kids have reported anxiety, depression, trauma concerns, and school avoidance.
The additional walk-in clinics continue the commitment of Children’s Wisconsin to ensure that every child’s mental health is as important as caring for their physical health. In 2019, Children’s Wisconsin made a 5-year, $150 million commitment to address the mental health crisis facing Wisconsin kids by detecting needs sooner, improving access to care and raising awareness of mental health. Kohl’s was among the first to support efforts by the health system, 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.
Kids in Wisconsin are experiencing a mental and behavioral health crisis, and many families are unsure how to address it with their children. That's why Children's Wisconsin is committed to helping parents and caregivers get the answers they need. To learn how you can play an active role in your child's mental and behavioral health, visit our Shine Through website.