New mental health drop-in center opens in Menomonie

A new drop-in center offering mental health support to adults has opened in Menomonie. Operated by the Wisconsin Milkweed Alliance, the Kaleidoscope Center received a $30,000 peer recovery center grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) last year.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Wisconsin Milkweed Alliance to add another location to Wisconsin’s network of state-funded mental health drop-in centers,” said DHS Secretary-Designate Karen Timberlake. “We know that for many, the peer-to-peer connection offered at places like Kaleidoscope Center is the key to healing and wellness.” The center is located on the lower level of Menomonie Center Hall, with no visitation fee.

Peer support centers like the Kaleidoscope Center specialize in people who feel isolated within their communities. The centers provide non-judgmental environments that can help foster skill development, support emotional health, and allow people to socialize with others. The Kaleidoscope Center is one of eight state-funded mental health peer recovery centers in Wisconsin, according to a DHS press release. The other centers are located in Madison, Adams, Green Bay, La Crosse, West Bend, Milwaukee and Eau Claire.

Last year, the network of peer recovery centers expanded to include people struggling with substance use disorder with locations in La Crosse, Manitowoc and Wautoma. In the past year, Wisconsin also added two state-funded peer-run respites, bringing the number of such facilities to six.

Unlike peer recovery centers, peer-run respites are not drop-in centers. On the contrary, people call ahead to arrange a stay of up to a week. The state is also working to provide a peer support phone system called the warmline. This will be available to all Wisconsin residents and will provide services for people who need someone to talk to before a struggle becomes a mental health emergency. These developments were made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), according to DHS.

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