Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital is taking several steps to address the need for behavioral health services.

The campus recently sponsored the newVoices community choir “Please Stay” fall concert series. NewVoices sings music designed to uplifts and inspires residents of Northeast Wisconsin.

As part of the sponsorship, Ascension Wisconsin physicians and leaders lent their voices to a community panel discussion at Ascension St. Elizabeth in early October. The panel discussion, “End the Stigma & Start the Conversation,” addressed the complexity of suicidal causes, how they affect the community, and how caregivers are successfully bringing hope, connection, social support, resilience treatment and recovery to those who need it most.

That same week, Ascension St. Elizabeth unveiled its new, nearly 14,000-square-foot, 17-bed adolescent behavioral health unit – representing a $5 million investment.

“At Ascension St. Elizabeth, people living with behavioral health issues are among the most vulnerable in our community, especially when they’re young,” said Tina Lechnir, Behavioral Health Director, Ascension NE Wisconsin. “We know that approximately 50 percent of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24. It’s imperative that we break down stigmas to help care for children and teens in our community struggling with their behavioral health.”

Photo: From left, Tina Lechnir, Regional Director, Behavioral Health, Ascension NE Wisconsin; Monica Hilt, President, Ascension St. Elizabeth; Heather Schimmers, Vice President, Patient Care, Ascension St. Elizabeth; and Deborah Scuglik, MD, Psychiatrist, Program Director – Behavioral Health, Ascension St. Elizabeth.