With Wisconsin registering the fifth highest increase of adolescent self-harm and attempted suicide in the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “60 Minutes” featured an extended segment on Children’s Wisconsin’s response to a recent spike in medical health visits by children on its May 8, 2022, program.
“60 Minutes” journalist Sharyn Alfonsi was shocked to learn from Children’s Wisconsin pediatric emergency room physician Dr. Michelle Pickett that she sees kids who have attempted suicide “at least once a shift.” Referring to the care Children’s Wisconsin provides these young patents in the ER, Dr. Pickett observed, “We’re there, and we see everybody, but I wish there were more places that kids could go to get the help that they need.”
To that end, Children’s Wisconsin has opened an urgent care walk-in clinic, established specifically to treat kids’ mental health. One of the first of its kind in the country, the clinic is open seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The “60 Minutes” segment also reported on a coordinated effort to staff full-time therapists inside pediatric clinics across southeastern Wisconsin. Children’s Wisconsin pediatrician Dr. Brilliant Nimmer, whose office now includes a mental health therapist, said, “…having the therapist in our clinic to really just have—get a team together to discuss that patient and family together, to bounce ideas off of each other, [because] we both know them so well—is so much better for patient care.”
Reflecting on “60 Minutes” selection of Children’s Wisconsin to feature in its report, Director of State and Local Government Relations Jodi Bloch noted, “When ‘60 Minutes’ producers started their research on this issue, they learned that others across the country could help describe the crisis. But, they felt Children’s was uniquely positioned in offering new and innovative ways to address the crisis, including the new Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic, the suicide screening efforts in the Emergency Department and Trauma Center, and Integrated Behavioral Health in the pediatrician offices.” Bloch continued, “We are humbled to have ‘60 Minutes’ feature Children’s Wisconsin and hope that the piece is representative of the commitment Children’s, stakeholders and partners across the state have made to improve the mental health of our kids.”
View the full “60 Minutes” segment here