Children’s Wisconsin applauds Governor Evers’ proposed budget that prioritizes funding to improve access to mental and behavioral health services, specifically struggling kids and families. The proposal aligns with Children’s belief that we need to focus on programs that meet kids where they are – in places like schools and day treatment programs – and advances efforts that have received bipartisan support in the legislature in the past. We are grateful for the continued engagement of Governor Evers and the legislature and will continue to work with both branches to address this critical need for more mental and behavioral health services.
Children’s has a goal to invest $150 million in mental and behavioral health initiatives to detect needs sooner, improve access and reduce stigma. That goal can’t be fully met without increased payments from the state and private health insurance companies, the generosity of donors, and direct investment from Children’s. The proposed budget, which would increase reimbursement rates for some mental health services and expand access to these services to more schools, is a clear commitment that would help meet that goal.