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Milwaukee County Mental Health Emergency Center (MHEC)

Deliver a community-based, high level of crisis care for those experiencing mental health issues

Milwaukee County, in partnership with Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert Health, established the Mental Health Emergency Center (MHEC) in response to the mental health crisis in Milwaukee County. The MHEC will treat adults and adolescents who experience mental health issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts, addiction, abuse and neglect.

Centrally located to roughly 70% of the patients who typically use the crisis center, this new facility will help reduce barriers to access, address the stigma around mental health and provide a high level of crisis care within a community-based, centralized model.

The building was designed with three entry points: staff, voluntary and involuntary patients. Patient privacy to the outside was a large concern that informed window placement. Within the space, EUA focused on maximizing patient observation for staff and providing patient and staff safety while also being durable to withstand a wide range of behaviors.