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New unit opens at Winnebago Mental Health Institute

Wednesday, February 12, 2020  
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February 12, Wisconsin Health News

A new admissions unit at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute in Oshkosh opened Tuesday, part of a series of state mental health investments being implemented this year, according to a statement.

The unit will serve adult civil patients, who are admitted because county health and human services staff and law enforcement have found them dangerous to themselves or to others.

The unit will provide short-term intensive treatment to those in crisis. If more care is needed after they stabilize, the patients will move to another unit.

"By separating the assessment and stabilization functions from other services provided by the hospital, staff now will be able to tailor the services in other units to create specialized therapeutic environments," DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said in a statement.

The state's 2019-2021 budget included funding to hire staff for the unit and enhanced community services for those in crisis.

The department also plans this year to implement a Medicaid crisis intervention benefit, issue grants for a youth crisis stabilization facility and fund a peer-run respite for veterans, according to the statement.