At a time when government or the health care business may be cutting back on certain services, assistance for mentally ill people in Wisconsin is being expanded in some ways.
That’s one message Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul had, after a meeting with Gundersen health staffers in La Crosse on Wednesday.
Kaul says providing assistance to people with behavioral problems on a timely basis can help those patients, and improve community safety.
“If we can work to prevent people from developing more acute behavioral health issues, and if we have an effective system in place, for treating people who have behavioral health issues, that makes a difference in the lives of those people, but it also makes a difference when it comes to public safety,” said Kaul.
He says Gundersen is helping police in the area with mobile ‘crisis services,’ reducing the need for officers or patients to travel long distances for care.
According to Kaul, Wisconsin has just one permanent emergency detention facility to routinely handle lawbreakers with mental health problems, and that’s in the Oshkosh area.