Milwaukee County DHHS Behavioral Health Services

The Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services provides prevention, treatment, and recovery services to children, adolescents, and adults experiencing behavioral health issues, to include substance use issues, through both county-operated programs and contracts with community agencies.

Milwaukee County DHHS Behavioral Health Services connects people of Milwaukee County with dependable, high-quality behavioral health services, no matter their severity of need or ability to pay. Services include intensive  short-term treatment, inpatient services and a full array of supportive community mobile, outpatient and residential services.           

The Psychiatric Crisis Services/Observation Clinic

Psychiatric Crisis Services provides 24/7 psychiatric crisis services including assessment, crisis intervention, and medications and has the capacity for client observation for up to 48 hours as needed.

The Crisis Line: (414) 257-7222

The Crisis Line is often the first point of contact with the behavioral health system for individuals in crisis and is the main access point for the mobile team services. The mobile team is able to send a team of clinicians onsite to provide assessments, interventions and/or referrals. The Crisis Line is available 24/7 to provide immediate psychiatric crisis intervention services. Services available include screening and assessment, crisis counseling and intervention, emergency service coordination and referral information.

Access Clinics

The Milwaukee County BHS Access Clinics are embedded in area community health centers to provide psychiatric assessment, short-term crisis intervention and follow-up, medications and/or referrals to community services based upon need.  Please contact the Crisis Line at (414) 257-7222 for information on clinic locations and contact numbers.

Inpatient Services: Acute Adult/Child Services

The Milwaukee County DHHS Behavioral Health Hospital Inpatient Services are provided in three licensed psychiatric hospital areas consisting of two adult units and one child and adolescent unit. The adult units include one Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) and one Academic Treatment Unit (ATU). All units provide inpatient care to individuals who require safe, secure, short-term, or occasionally extended hospitalization for their mental and behavioral health needs.

A multi-disciplinary team approach of psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social service, and rehabilitation therapy professionals provide assessment and treatment designed to stabilize acute psychiatric needs and assist the return of the patient to his or her own community.

  • The ITU program provides a safe, supportive environment for individuals with mental health conditions who are at high risk for aggressive behavior and in need of intensive behavioral and pharmacological interventions.
  • The ATU program focuses on acute psychiatric needs of individuals requiring less intensive treatment needs than the ITU which allows for a teaching environment for medical and psychology staff.
  • The Child and Adolescent (CAIS) unit provides inpatient care to individuals ages 17 and under. The CAIS unit also provides emergency detention services for Milwaukee County as well as inpatient screening for Children’s Court.

Children’s Community Mental Health Services and Wraparound Milwaukee

Children’s Community Mental Health Services and Wraparound Milwaukee (WM) is a unique public manager system of care and that serves youth and young adults with serious emotional, behavioral or mental health issues. Youth are often at risk of residential treatment, correctional care or psychiatric hospitalization.

Youth served are typically involved in multiple child-serving systems including child welfare, youth justice, mental health and special education. WM serves youth through a variety of programs and some youth may be referred for assessment through the youth justice system. The programs include: Wraparound/REACH, Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) for Youth, CORE (First Episode of Psychosis/Clinical High Risk for Psychosis), and Youth Connect. In addition, the Children's Mobile Crisis team (CMC) provides 24/7 crisis intervention services. To prevent further system involvement, families with children needing support with behavioral needs, runaway or other parent-child conflicts are also supported through the Family Intervention Support & Services (FISS) program.

Funding for WM is pooled among child welfare, youth justice and Medicaid with most families being Badger Care Plus eligible. Services provided are comprehensive and individualized, including care coordination, therapy services, and support services such as mentors, crisis 1:1 and other emergency services. Additional supports available include medication management and limited out-of-home services as appropriate.

Community Access to Recovery Services (CARS)

Community Access to Recovery Services (CARS) is a department of the Behavioral Health Services that specializes in helping Milwaukee County adult residents get connected with the community-based resources needed to guide and support their journey to recovery. CARS has five main areas of focus that put individuals at the center of care, while following best practices to achieve the most positive outcomes. The areas include:  Prevention, Access, Treatment, Care Management, and Recovery Support Services.  The department has strong partnerships with a network of diverse, committed, local providers that provide high quality services for mental health and/or substance use treatment needs.  A broad range of supportive services that help individuals achieve independence are also offered.