The Mental Health Emergency Center (MHEC) is the new county-wide psychiatric Emergency Department offering 24/7/365 crisis mental health assessment, stabilization, treatment, and transition care management for children, adolescents and adults.

About 1 in 5 individuals experience mental illness in their lifetime, and access to mental health resources has been identified as an important need in local community health assessments for many years. (Click to view source: NAMI)

Since 2010, significant input from consumers, community partners, advocates, and health care providers has helped shape the redesign of mental health services in Milwaukee County.

The new Mental Health Emergency Center is a major milestone in our community’s journey toward holistic, decriminalized, de-stigmatized and equitable mental health care.

Local Impact

The new emergency center serves as an anchor institution in the surrounding neighborhood, providing increased safety, revitalization and economic benefit. The center employs about 70 full-time equivalent staff, including peer support professionals. It also serves as a training center for psychiatric medical residents and will offer professional educational opportunities for other mental health personnel in the future.


Construction and start-up costs for the new center were projected to be $18 million, with the County covering 50% of those costs and the health systems covering the other half. The center is expected to deliver care with an operating loss of $12 million annually. Operating shortfalls are 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. Please contact us If your foundation or company is interested in learning more about sponsored programs and services that support the emergency center’s patients and behavioral health professionals.

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