Where the Need is Greatest – Mental Health - Ascension Wisconsin

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Where the Need is Greatest – Mental Health

A 2010 study found that close to 200,000 Wisconsin adults are living with a serious mental illness, many of whom go untreated. While Mental Health is an area of health care that rarely receives a lot of attention, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is committed to providing these patients with the care and resources they need to be treated.

Music TherapyRecently, our community has experienced a decline in the number of resources available for Mental Health patients, with the myriad of challenges facing the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex and other area hospitals closing their inpatient facilities. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – St. Francis, one of the few remaining inpatient mental health units in Milwaukee’s south side, is already experiencing an increase in the amount of patients residing on the unit and is nearly at capacity every day. As a result, additional resources are needed to assist patients with their treatment during their stay on the unit, as well as to patients who are leaving the hospital to rejoin the community.

St. Francis offers a wide range of treatment options to those who are suffering from debilitating psychiatric and social disorders. Most notably, St. Francis has introduced Music Therapy and Art Therapy as treatment options for those staying within the adult inpatient center. Music Therapy uses musical interaction as a means of communication and expression, with the aim to help patients develop relationships and address issues that they would otherwise be unable to communicate using words alone. Our Music Therapy sessions include the use of active music making, music listening, and discussion in group settings. Music and Art Therapy encourage self-expression, self-discovery, and emotional growth. Patients with mental illnesses are able to visualize and create the thoughts and emotions that are difficult for them to share verbally. Both treatments are able to transcend cultural and lingual barriers by allowing for communication through expression, and supply patients with the tools they need to help overcome their conditions and facilitate their transition back into the community.

Given the decline in mental health treatment options within our area, St. Francis is now a vital facility that is filled with patients each day. In order to continue its effective treatments and patient care, funds are needed to sustain the facility’s operations. With your help, St. Francis hospital can continue to treat these vulnerable individuals in desperate need of care.

Where the Need is Greatest – Mental Health