MADISON – Today, Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced a  $14.1 million investment from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to directly support youth mental health services, as well as new behavioral health providers entering the workforce. Children’s Wisconsin will receive $5 million of this investment to continue their work bolstering youth mental health services, including its pediatric Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic (the state’s only walk-in behavioral health clinic serving children and youth), as well as a partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin to support a new pediatric psychology residency program. The remaining funding will be administered by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to expand Wisconsin’s mental health and substance use services workforce. Representative Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa) released the following statement:

“I was honored to join Governor Evers, DHS Secretary-Designee Timberlake, Dr. Amaranté of the Multicultural Trauma and Addiction Treatment Center, Jessica Smith, UW-Whitewater Center for Inclusive Transition, Education and Employment director and co-founder, Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Wisconsin and Dr. Khare, Chief Mental and Behavioral Health Officer of Children’s Wisconsin, to share news of this crucial investment this morning.

“Mental healthcare is healthcare. We must live and legislate with empathy and compassion, and with a laser focus on the needs of Wisconsinites. In a time of great need, Governor Evers has answered the call to increase access to mental healthcare, an effort that will both improve– and likely– save lives.

“This investment from Governor Evers will help close the gap between those who need access to mental health services and licensed professionals who can assist them. New or increased funding for Children’s Wisconsin to establish a Pediatric Psychology Residency Program, and UW-Whitewater’s Qualified Treatment Trainee Grants Program as well as expanding educational pathways will continue the work of creating a mental health system that works for everyone. This is workforce development.

“I applaud Governor Evers for his continued prioritization of mental healthcare for everyone in our state. He knows that in order to truly move forward as a state, we must move forward together. Thank you, Governor Evers, for prioritizing mental health.”

Rep. Vining represents the 14th Assembly District, which includes parts of Brookfield, Wauwatosa, and Milwaukee. For more information, visit Rep. Vining’s website here

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