Milwaukee Nurses Lead Effort To Find More Community Mental Health Resources

Number Of In-Patient Facilities In The Area Is Falling


Nurses met in Milwaukee Wednesday to discuss alternatives for those having severe mental health problems.

The educational forum held by the Wisconsin Center for Nursing comes as in-patient mental health units are closing in the Milwaukee area. As a result, the center’s Carol Sabel said, there are fewer places for people to turn to when experiencing mental health crisis.

“Let’s say that a person has a history of depression and having thoughts of harming themselves,” she said. “What about the person who is having a panic attack or psychotic episode? So (crisis is) an escalation of their mental health issues.”

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The panel examined what community resources are available that may head off crisis situations, like peer counseling for instance. They also discussed how there’s inconsistency in the treatment of mental health crisis .

“You know the emergency room may feel that the client needs to be admitted, but there may not be any beds available at that time, so they can’t admit them,” Sabel said. “The next day another client may come in who is not as seriously ill as the client they saw the day before, but a bed is available so that client can get admitted.”

A 2010 Institute of Medicine report provided data underscoring the active role nurses play in improving delivery and access to various kinds of health care in the U.S.

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