Children’s Wisconsin opened this week a walk-in clinic at its Wauwatosa campus for children with urgent behavioral needs.
The clinic is named Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic in honor of a Former Fiserv CEO Jeffrey Yabuki’s $20 million donation family foundation to the healthcare system (Craig Yabuki was the brother of Jeffery Yabuki who suffered from undiagnosed childhood depression and in 2017 died by suicide).
Health Systems said the clinic, located in a repurposed space on the second floor of the Children’s Clinics building, is the first of its kind in Wisconsin and fills a gap in care for children in mental health crisis.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in five children in the state was living with a mental illness, and Wisconsin’s suicide rate was higher than most of the United States. Visits to the children’s emergency department and trauma center for mental and behavioral health issues have increased by 40% since the start of the pandemic.
This clinic is one part of Children’s Wisconsin’s multi-year plan to invest $150 million in mental health programs.
Licensed therapists, social workers, and clinical assistants will see patients ages 5 to 18 from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily at the walk-in clinic. No appointment or referral is necessary.
Children’s staff will provide assessments and determine any immediate safety concerns, then communicate with a child’s existing physicians and therapists to continue making resources available after the visit.
“This clinic is a direct result of us listening to families telling us they need more options,” said Amy Herbst, vice president of mental and behavioral health for Children’s Wisconsin. “We hope this clinic can provide a safe place for children in crisis to take a break, speak with our specialists and get the right care they need at the right time.