A bill in the Wisconsin Legislature would facilitate opening regional crisis centers. Currently, persons experiencing a mental health crisis may ride in the back of a squad car for hours, to be taken to Winnebago Mental Health Institute near Oshkosh. State Senator Howard Marklein
“That’s not the best way to treat somebody who’s in a mental health crisis, put them in the back of a squad car for a three-and-a-half-hour trip,” said state Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green).
“Now you confine the person, you pull them away from their support system, their family and anything that they might have to help them get through it, and pull them clear across the state,” said Representative Clint Moses (R-Menomonie). “Some of our communities, they don’t have a lot of extra law enforcement to spare. So you put two deputies in a car and bring them down. This situation has not created a positive environment for anybody involved.”
The bill allocates $10 million that’s already been budgeted. The crisis centers would allow voluntary or emergency detention for up to five days without patients having to be transported to Winnebago.