Mental Health Navigation Initiative Offers New Resources to Connect to Care

In 2023, the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership (MHCP) and Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services (BHS) launched the public/private MHCP Mental Health Navigation Initiative to improve the understanding of mental health and substance use (SUD) services in Milwaukee County and develop resources and tools to help both community members and providers connect to these public and private services.

“People don’t access services in silos,” said Ann Christiansen, Executive Director, MHCP. “We had to bring public and private partners to the table to look at the environment holistically and find ways to make a complex system easier to understand and navigate.”

After engaging with community and provider stakeholders over many months to understand existing supports, gaps, and needs – the initiative published a suite of resources on in December 2023. The website offers a single source of truth for public and private services, where providers and community members can get the information they need to help themselves or others. 

“We don’t want a lack of information or understanding of the system to be a barrier to care,” said Shakita LaGrant-McClain, Executive Director, Milwaukee County Department of Health & Human Services. “By creating a place that guides you to all the services available across the county – whether it be a crisis service through the County or an appointment at a community health center in your neighborhood – you no longer have to be an expert to be connected.”

The resources largely focus on how to find care – offering connections to services through an online directory, chat tool, text, phone call, or walk-in options. There are digital and PDF-printable options available. Partner organizations can also embed a chat widget or button to the resources on their own website.