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Wraparound Milwaukee seeks to care for children’s mental health through centering & empowering families

Children’s Community Mental Health Services and Wraparound Milwaukee has been serving Milwaukee since 1995.
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Children’s Community Mental Health Services and Wraparound Milwaukee has been serving Milwaukee since 1995.

The healthcare system can be difficult to navigate, especially for a parent or caretaker looking for children’s mental health services.

Children’s Community Mental Health Services and Wraparound Milwaukee was founded in 1995. It offers comprehensive and community-based care for children with serious emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs and their families. Wraparound operates as an HMO driven program that also utilizes community based services.

Brian McBride, director of Children’s Community Mental Health Services and Wraparound Milwaukee, says that the organization's values are centered around the "Wraparound process," that includes strength-based, family driven care. The family stays centered in the process and Wraparound helps to tailor the appropriate support and treatment that reflects the family's vision of success.

"[We empower] families using individualized care and really trying to use that informal support system that families have, and then utilizing a more formal network of services to meet those needs moving forward," McBride explains.

Their primary method of care consists of families calling a centralized service line, which then plans a personalized treatment plan for the specific case. There is a team of counselors and general support services that can assist each family by either the family calling or being referred to the organization.

To help achieve their mission of serving the area, Wraparound partners with other organizations such as Running Rebels and Pathfinders to increase their service capacity. They also operate a drop-in resource center called Owens Place that focuses on transitional aged youth and provides support — wether it is educational, employment or an opportunity to connect with peers.

McBride believes one of the reasons for Wraparound's recent higher participation levels is the stigma that often surrounds mental health being combatted by younger generations. "While the stigma certainly is something that will always need to be worked on and addressed, we have seen it shift and ... we've seen a lot more need around engagement and services. And I think that more people are mindful to how there is a need for mental [health]."

Anyone who is interested or in need of the Wraparound services can call the resource and referral line at (414) 257-7607. You can also find support options through the resource guide.


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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