Milwaukee's Behavioral Health Services mobile crisis teams are ready to respond
The Behavioral Health Division has many resources for people in the Milwaukee area. However, their areas and service methods are more than their building or office hours. The county also has mobile resources in addition to the 24-hour crisis line, which you can reach at 414-257-7222. When you call this number, Crisis Mobile Teams (CMT) are ready to venture out into the community to respond to mental health emergencies.
The teams are made up of mental health and healthcare professionals that respond in-person to individuals in crisis. When out on a service call, these crisis teams aim to decrease distress and help reduce the risk of escalation. According to Lauren Hubbard, the director of community crisis services for Milwaukee’s Behavioral Health Service, CMT is a result of an intentional effort to provide resources to areas in need through the Mental Health Redesign Plan.
"Many of the things that we heard for the community-based services were to have the services closer to where the community members with the highest need are, to also make those services more accessible for those community members and for them to be more diverse and inclusive," explains Hubbard.
The closure of the Mental Health Complex and the inpatient hospital in Wauwatosa allowed those resources to be redirected and concentrated closer in the Milwaukee area, resulting in three clinics opening in the city. These centralized clinics create an opportunity to have a main base of operations that allow faster and more efficient responses throughout the city through CMT.
The CMT and the crisis linereceives calls seven days a week, 24 hours a day and respond to individuals in crisis. Hubbard explains the determining factor in calling the crisis line from authorities is whether or not a person has taken action in harming themselves. Regardless of the extent of a crisis, Hubbard strongly advocates calling the line if there's any sense of uncertainty.
She explains, "When in doubt, please call. We want to be able to come meet you where you are within the community and to help sort through whatever it is that might be going on — and to ensure that we can normalize what crisis is for everyone throughout the community.”
The county also offers a Children's Crisis Mobile Team (CMC, formerly known as the Mobile Urgent Treatment Team: MUTT). They're comprised of a team of professional and trained clinicians and often respond to school and home settings. Though under a new name, these children's targeted services have been operating in Milwaukee for over a decade and are now being combined with the expanded adult services to respond cohesively to crisis scenarios.
The mobile teams and the Behavioral Health Division is looking for individuals to join their team to and continue in their mission of mental health service to the Milwaukee area.
If you are anyone you know may be experiencing a health crisis, don't hesitate to call the numbers below:
24 Hour Crisis Line: (414) 257-7222
Youth crisis Line: (414) 257-7621