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Addressing the mental health needs of our kids

Between 2014 and 2016, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin supported more than 275,000 patient encounters that included a mental or behavioral health diagnosis. In Wisconsin and nationwide, the need for child mental health continues to grow.

A child’s mental health significantly impacts their overall health, well-being and development. Sadly, almost half of children in the United States will experience some type of mental health disorder before age 18. 

Children’s supports kids’ mental and behavioral health through our work in clinics and communities across the state. At sites throughout Wisconsin, our licensed child and family counselors work with children – from toddlers to adolescents – to address problems and strengthen family ties.

In our primary care clinics, providers screen regularly for mental health issues, support families around common behavioral health concerns, and provide resources and referrals. An increasing number of our primary care clinics offer behavioral health services on site.

In our hospital and specialty clinics, our psychiatrists, psychologists, neuropsychologists and psychotherapists treat kids for a variety of mental health diagnoses, from anxiety and depression to attachment disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

There is progress to be made in our communities and in our state. According to a 2016 report by Mental Health America, Wisconsin ranked 44th in the nation for youth mental health. CDC statistics also show that Wisconsin’s youth suicide rate is consistently higher than the national rate.

Kids in CrisisTo help the community understand this issue, Children’s is supporting Gannett Wisconsin’s Kids in Crisis series. Our support allows reporters from the USA Today Network-Wisconsin to explore the causes of teen suicide and examine how communities are helping youth cope with anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges. The series challenges the community to come together to help find solutions through storytelling and town hall events that are open to the public.

If you are looking for ways to support your children’s mental health, visit our Let’s Talk page. Finding time to talk with your kids lays the foundation for great relationships, and helps keep the door open when the going gets tough. The Let’s Talk page has tips on how to talk with your children, as well as their pediatricians and teachers.

Your support makes this all possible

Philanthropic support is critical to our efforts to improve access for the many children and families experiencing mental health issues. Your generous investment allows us to meet the needs of kids and families in the community and improve the well-being of children for future generations.

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Your donation to Children's is critical in helping us provide the best care for kids and families. Donate online, by mail or call us at (414) 266-6100 to talk through the many ways you can help.

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To contact the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation, email us or call:

(414) 266-6100


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