Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic - Milwaukee VA Medical Center
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Milwaukee VA Medical Center


Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic

  1. What does the Milwaukee VA’s Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic consist of?
    The Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic is staffed by a multidisciplinary team including a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychologists, registered nurses, and social workers.  The clinic provides same day urgent/emergent evaluation and treatment of a wide variety of psychiatric diagnoses including substance abuse, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.  The clinic also links Veterans to appropriate outpatient MH services for additional evaluation and treatment, facilitates the inpatient admission process, and arranges for screening to be admitted to MH residential programs.
  2. When did the Mental Health Urgent Care open?
    The MH UCC was restructured and renamed in 2010.  Previously, it was called MH Central Intake Unit (CIU). 
  3. Where is it specifically located in the medical center?
    Rm 1252 – adjacent to the medical urgent care/lab and pharmacy on the main level.
  4. What are the hours of operation for the Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic?
    Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding weekends or holidays, on those days, visit the emergency department.
  5. What happens on days and times that it is closed?
    Patients are directed to ER and evaluated by psychologists/ER MDs 
  6. How did the VA provide this care previously to opening the Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic?
    CIU (Central Intake Unit) – staffed by MH APNs and RNs, as well as  rotating  outpatient psychiatrists 
  7. How many people staff the Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic and what are their positions?
    Urgent Care staffs about 10 people: psychiatrist, psychiatric NP, registered nurses, social workers and medical service assistant. Emergency Department staffs about five mental health professionals. 
  8. Does anything similar exist at our outpatient clinics?
    The Appleton and Green Bay Outpatient Clinics have a Central Intake Unit, based upon the model formerly used in Milwaukee open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
  9. Why was this implemented?
    To provide urgent services and improve access to resources for Veterans.
  10. How does this compare to services in the civilian community?
    More specific to needs of mental health patients; avoids unnecessary waits in ERs or lengthy wait times to see psychiatric providers.
  11. How long is the typical wait at Mental Health Urgent Care?
    Variable; patients are triaged upon arrival and seen based upon urgency of needs.  Typical wait time is less than 30 minutes.
  12. Who is eligible to use this service?
    Anyone deemed eligible for VHA health services.
  13. How has this helped our Mental Health and Emergency Department treatment overall?Improved access to MH care; improved coordination of care with the ER; improved use of MH resources in determination of most appropriate level of care needed for patients (e.g., need for inpatient admission vs. outpatient or residential treatment).
  14. What type of treatment is available at the Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic?
    risis intervention; urgent medication management; preliminary screening and referrals for MH services, including outpatient treatment and residential programs; facilitation of acute inpatient admissions; ER psychiatric consultations.
  15. What if it is determined that a patient needs more care than can be provided at the Mental Health urgent care clinic?
    Referrals to appropriate level and type of treatment are facilitated.
  16. I made an appointment for my Mental Health provider but I really need an appointment NOW. Can I just show up at the Mental Health Clinic? Can I go to Mental Health Urgent Care?
    Yes. It is a walk-in clinic. Patients are triaged upon arrival to the clinic and seen accordingly.  The providers in MH UCC will review your established MH provider’s treatment plan and will often attempt to contact your provider for consultation if necessary prior to making any significant changes in your treatment.