Targeted to open in 2022, the Mental Health Emergency Center will offer 24/7 crisis mental health assessment, stabilization, treatment, and transition care management for children, adolescents and adults.

Currently under construction, the center is located at 1525 N. 12th Street, in the city of Milwaukee. It will serve patients residing in Milwaukee County and possibly surrounding communities.

The Mental Health Emergency Center is a joint venture between Milwaukee County and Milwaukee’s four health systems: Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, and Froedtert Health.

Advocate Aurora Health will serve as the manager of the center and will be responsible for the employment of the physicians and staff, as well as the day-to-day operations under the direction of the joint venture’s Board of Directors. As the largest provider of behavioral and mental health services in the state, Advocate Aurora Health brings significant clinical and patient service expertise to the delivery of care.

Additionally, the joint venture partners are exploring philanthropic support from other community stakeholders committed to improving mental health access, including providers, foundations and government agencies.

Local Impact

The new emergency center will serve as an anchor institution in the surrounding neighborhood, providing increased safety, revitalization, and economic benefit.

Once open, the center will employ about 70 full-time equivalent staff, including peer supports. It will serve as a training center for psychiatric medical residents and potentially offer professional educational opportunities for other mental health personnel in the future.

During construction, dozens of jobs are being created through the project’s construction firms, CG Schmidt, and minority-owned JCP Construction.


Construction and start-up costs for the new center are projected to be $18 million, with the County covering 50% of those costs and the health systems covering the other half. Once open, the center is expected to deliver care with an operating loss of $12 million annually. Operating shortfalls will be similarly split 50/50 between the County and the health systems.

Efforts are underway with the State of Wisconsin to enhance crisis reimbursement to ensure long-term viability.

As a tax-exempt organization, the Mental Health Emergency Center welcomes philanthropic and corporate gifts. If your foundation or company is interested in learning more about sponsored programs and services that will support the emergency center’s patients and behavioral health professionals, please contact us.

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