MILWAUKEE—The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors and Mental Health Board are coming together to prioritize access to behavioral health services, as the community continues to deal with the ongoing stress of the pandemic and the upcoming holiday season. Since the onset of COVID-19, Milwaukee County experienced a 54% increase in drug overdoses and an alarming 300% increase in death by suicide this past August.

“I look forward to building a relationship with the Behavioral Health Division that will enhance the service we are able to give our constituents in Milwaukee county,” said Milwaukee County Supervisor Sequanna Taylor.

Recognizing the current challenges the community is facing, the upcoming winter months, and normally stressful holiday season, the Boards will work collaboratively on behavioral health issues and find new ways to support Milwaukee County residents and improve access to care.

“We have a shared goal of providing mental health support to all residents of Milwaukee County. These are unprecedented times and people are struggling. No one needs to feel alone. Making sure residents have access to critical mental health resources is common ground for both Boards,” said Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Chair Tom Lutzow, PhD, MBA.

Individuals in need of support are encouraged to call Milwaukee County’s 24-Hour Crisis Line at 414-257-7222. Clinicians will offer support and guidance and connect callers to available resources. People can also call 2-1-1 directly for assistance. IMPACT 2-1-1 provides a coordinated entry point for those in need. During times of personal crisis or community disaster, the free, confidential helpline and online resource directory make it easy for residents to get connected to information and assistance.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that approximately 24% of people with a diagnosed mental illness find that the holidays make their condition a lot worse and 40% said somewhat worse.

Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
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