Webinar | Milwaukee County’s Mobile Crisis Response Services (MRSS)

Presented by Chris Morano, PhD

Chris Morano, PhD is the Director of Mobile Emergency Mental Health Services for Milwaukee County Children and families. Dr. Morano has been in the crisis intervention field for nearly 20 years, and runs the largest mobile mental health unit in the country, through Wraparound Milwaukee.

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Milwaukee County’s Mobile Crisis Response Services were developed over 20 years ago as part of development of Wraparound Milwaukee, the county’s System of Care(SOC) for children with serious emotional and mental health needs.

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Named the Mobile Urgent Treatment Team, it began as a service to children in Wraparound with the primary goal to keep youth enrolled in the SOC at home and out of inpatient psychiatric care unless truly needed.

Goal to contain and manage crisis in the home and community so the family plan and vision wouldn’t be disrupted.

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A change in State law in 1996 required all Wisconsin counties to plan for and provide crisis services(HFS34) to children and adults.

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Consistent with HFS34 funding was created under the Wis. State Medicaid Program to cover costs associated with the provision of mobile crisis response and optional stabilization services.

The Mobile Urgent Treatment Team under the organization and direction of Wraparound Milwaukee and Milwaukee County’s Children’s Mental Health Division than evolved to be available to every child in Milwaukee County but also retained it’s “gatekeeper” functions for WAM youth.

An array of Crisis stabilization services permitted under HFS34 began to be developed and funded in Milwaukee county in 2002 including crisis group home and crisis 1:1 stabilizers.

A Contract was entered into in 2005 with Child Welfare for creation of a dedicated foster care crisis team due to excessive placement disruptions and response to federal lawsuit.

Contract with Milw. Public Schools in 2006 for specialized crisis team, grades 6-12, respond to school aggression, suspensions, etec.(ended in 2010 due to loss of state funds).

MUTT/Milw. Police Dept Trauma team developed in 2015 based on Yale Child Studies Model of Police, Mental health partnership.