Disability Rights Wisconsin On Advocacy Services for Patients at Milwaukee Mental Health Complex

by Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee Office Director


Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is the designated protection and advocacy agency for people with mental illnesses and other disabilities in Wisconsin. In that role, we advocate for people with disabilities who experience abuse or neglect or other violations of their rights. We are deeply concerned about the recent reports of assaults and other citations at the Milwaukee Mental Health Complex, and possible systemic failures, which may include neglect of vulnerable people by staff. This is intolerable. Disability Rights Wisconsin is committed to working with other stakeholders to move forward with systemic change. We want to do everything possible to ensure that the hospital provides a safe and healing environment for patients. We are in the process of reviewing the citations, corrective action plan, policies and procedures, and other records. We are communicating with the state and CMS as they move forward with their responsibilities related to monitoring and/or investigation, as well as contacting the patients and/or guardians.

As the protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities in our state, we want to remind you that if patients or guardians have concerns about patients’ rights, abuse or neglect, or access to services at the Milwaukee Mental Health Complex, you may refer them to DRW at our Milwaukee office at 414–773–4646. DRW may be able to provide advocacy services in these cases or provide a referral if that is more appropriate. We regularly have cases from the Complex, but clearly there are additional patients whose rights are being violated, and who are in need of advocacy services. Signs with our contact information are (again) being posted on all inpatient units; we will periodically be on site, although our ability to do this is restricted by our limited staff resources. We are working with Milwaukee County staff and others to ensure that patients are aware of their rights and of our advocacy services.

Any questions? Please call 414–773–4646 Ext 15 Voice; 888 758–6049 TTY; 414–773–4647 Fax

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on March 29, 2010

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