Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin have announced a $3 million gift from the Kelben Foundation to increase access to quality mental health care for children in Milwaukee's central city.
The funds will be used to establish a Community Mental Health Initiative, enabling MCW and Children's to work together to expand existing programs at health clinics embedded within the COA Goldin Center, Northside YMCA, and Next Door Foundation. Training and education also will be provided to staff at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee so that it is better equipped to respond to the mental health needs of children in its programs. The initiative also will create an intake and triage process to assist families with mental health needs.
In 2007, Kelben Foundation co-founders Ted and Mary Kellner created the Kellner Chair in Pediatrics at the Medical College. Ted Kellner serves on the boards of both Children's and MCW.
"Access to mental health services is as important as access to physical health care specialists, and the intent of this initiative is to improve access for families by providing mental health professionals embedded in the neighborhoods most in need, and also to streamline and simplify the processes involved in seeking mental health services," said Mary Kellner, who has more than twenty years of counseling experience. "Partnering with MCW and with Children’s Hospital and working with community organizations is an important step in establishing better mental wellness in Milwaukee."