New mental health drop-in center opens in Menomonie

By: - July 27, 2022 6:15 am
person sitting alone on the street at night, dark depression

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

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

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

Peer support centers like the Kaleidoscope Center specialize in people who feel isolated within their communities. The centers offer judgment-free environments which can help foster skill-building, emotional health is supported, and allow people to socialize with others. The Kaleidoscope Center is one of Wisconsin’s eight state-funded mental health peer recovery centers, 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 peer recovery center network expanded to include those struggling with Substance Use Disorder with  locations  in La Crosse, Manitowoc and Wautoma. Over the last year, Wisconsin also added two state-funded peer-run respites,  bringing the number of those facilities to six.

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


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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.