Friday, March 17th, 2017

Materials from 3/14 Briefing on State Budget and Federal Issues

BudgetTraining Milwaukee 03142017


Per capita cap edits



Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Peer Run Respite Forum materials are now available

Here is the 2014 Peer Run Respite Request for Proposals State of Wisconsin.

Here are materials from Dr. Laysha Ostrow’s presentation at the Peer Run Respite Forum on September 13th, 2016:

Dr. Laysha Ostrow’s Powerpoint Presentation

Results from the 2016 Peer Respite Essential Features Survey

Peer Respites: A Research and Practice Agenda

The 2012 National Survey of Peer-Run Organizations (Report 1)

The 2012 National Survey of Peer-Run Organizations (Report 2)

Leadership and Characteristics of Nonprofit Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations Nationwide


Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

MMHTF 2016-2017 Membership Materials

The materials for 2016-2017 membership to the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force are available online!    Click here to download the membership letter, membership form, and MHTF directory form.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Nominations for 2016 Karen Avery Award

Click here for a printable flyer.

The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force is seeking nominations for the third annual Karen Avery Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing the rights of people with disabilities and to the consumer movement.  We are especially interested in nominees who have been active in advancing the rights and independence of people with mental illness.  In 2014, the first Karen Avery Award was presented to Phillip Corona, an Independent Living Services Coordinator at IndependenceFirst and a Certified Peer Specialist.  In 2015, the second Karen Avery Award was presented to Melissa Butts, Coordinator of the Peerlink Program at NAMI Greater Milwaukee and a Certified Peer Specialist.

Letters of nominations should be no more than two pages in length and address the following:
• Why you are nominating this individual for the Karen Avery Award.
• A description of the nominee’s commitment to advancing the rights and independence of people with disabilities, including people who have experienced mental illness.
• Any work to support and advance the consumer movement and elevate the voices of peers.
• How Karen’s values and/or her legacy are reflected in the actions of the nominee.  If the nominee knew Karen, please address this, including any influence Karen had, as a mentor, colleague, friend, etc.
• Given Karen’s leadership as a mental health advocate, and her commitment to the consumer/survivor movement, we encourage nominees with lived experience of mental illness.
• Given the focus of the Task Force, preference will be given to nominees from Milwaukee County.
Note: Please include your contact information and contact information for the nominee.

If you were inspired by Karen Avery and her passion for advancing the rights of people with disabilities, please consider nominating someone for the third annual Karen Avery Award.  Self nominations are also welcome.
Please submit nominations by August 6, 2016 to Barbara Beckert (barbara.beckert@drwi.org)

SAVE THE DATE: The award will be presented at a Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force Program on Peer Run Respite, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, September 13 at IndependenceFirst.  Stay tuned for program details!

About Karen Avery
Karen Avery was an advocate, a mentor, a peer, friend, and leader in the fight for disability rights, dedicated to giving power and independence to people with disabilities.  Karen began her career as an advocate for fair housing, before joining IndependenceFirst in 1998 as Associate Director.  She was known as an advocate extraordinaire, not only in Milwaukee, and Wisconsin, but nationally and even internationally.  She was a respected leader in the mental health consumer/ survivor movement, working to advance the rights of people with mental illness and to ensure a strong consumer voice.  Karen was a founding board member of the Grassroots Empowerment Project, and a leader in the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force, where she was a longtime member of the Steering Committee.   She spoke about the system and about recovery with such impact and conviction, because she lived it.  She was generous in sharing the challenges of her experience with mental illness and her recovery journey.

In her work as a leader in the disability movement, as well as to friends and family, Karen set the standard for being “selfless to a fault.” She gave everything – her intellect, corny sense of humor, time, attention, empathy, kindness, authenticity, love of family, wonderful laugh, zest for life with a bit of indignation. Karen never wanted to be the center of attention in the public eye, but she was willing to speak truth to power to advance the rights of her peers – and, even more impactful, to mentor and encourage others in finding their voice.  She was known for her T-shirts featuring irreverent messages – “Feisty and Non-compliant” was a classic.  Karen was also an incredibly loving and caring Mother and Grandmother, and a dear friend and mentor to so many.

When Karen passed away in 2013, the disability community lost a champion.  The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force established this award to honor Karen’s legacy and her deep commitment to advancing the rights of people with disabilities, and to the mental health consumer movement.

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

MHTF Steering Committee Openings

The Steering Committee has openings for the following positions: At large, Consumer, Family, and 2 Providers. Service on the Steering Committee is a leadership role and requires previous participation in the Mental Health Task Force. See details on expectations for serving on the second page of the nomination form.

Click here to access the fillable nomination form.

Click here for more information on the Steering Committee nomination and election process.

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Resources About the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board

Here are several resources regarding the formation of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board.  Check back for additional information as it develops:

Proposal to Create the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board

Memo on 2013 Wisconsin Act 203

2013 Wisconsin Act 203

Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force Commends Signing of Mental Health Board Bill

Initial Report on 2013 Act 203, Establishing the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board

Governor Scott Walker Announces Appointments to Milwaukee County Mental Health Board

2014 Fiscal Projection for Milwaukee County

Milwaukee County Five Year Financial Forecast

Video of Corp Counsel and the Comptroller explaining the role of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board to Milwaukee County Board Health and Human Needs Committee

Corp Counsel’s report to Milwaukee County Board Health and Human Needs Committee on the new MCMHB


Information related to the Mental Health Board is posted to the County website at:


Friday, June 13th, 2014

Mental Health Reform Resource Section





2013 – present

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

May MHTF meeting materials

Click on the links below to review the materials from the May 2014 MHTF meeting.

Powerpoint for MHTF meeting


HOC Armor Re-entry

HOC Programming Accomplishments 05-12-14

MHTF thank you Sup Hafemann

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Presentation from the Forum on the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Reforms

On behalf of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force, we thank all who attended our Tuesday, September 3rd forum: A Forum on the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Reforms: An Information and Planning Session on Outreach and Enrollment Strategies for People with Mental Illness in Milwaukee County.

Click here to view the Powerpoint presentation from the Forum.

We will continue the discussion regarding the ACA and Medicaid reforms with updates at the monthly meetings of the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force which take place on the second Tuesday of the month from 3 – 5 PM at IndependenceFirst and are open to all.  If you are not currently on our email list and would like to be added, please reply to this email with your name and email address.

Special thanks to our tremendous forum speakers:

Joy Tapper, MPA, Executive Director – Milwaukee Health Care Partnership

Sarah Fraley, Southeast Wisconsin Medicaid Liaison for WI Department of Health Services

Susan Gadacz, MA, Director Community Services Branch – Milw. Cnty Behavioral Health Division

Ryan X Farrell, JD, Staff Attorney – Disability Rights Wisconsin

Sadie Tuescher, Disability Benefit Specialist, Milwaukee County Disability Resource Center

David R. Riemer, Senior Fellow, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

“Newsmakers: Mental Health Services” panel on WisconsinEye

Click here to view the WisconsinEye discussion on mental health services in light of recent events.  Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee Mental health Task Force coordinator, participated on the panel.

WisconsinEye’s description of the video:  Recent mass shootings and the gun-control debate nationally has focused attention on mental health programs. Gov. Scott Walker’s budget included $30 million more for these programs, for example, and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has promised to close the county’s 150-patient mental health hospital and place them in community-based settings. Experts who discussed the need for new programs and efforts to deal with the stigma of mental illness were Newsmakers panelists Rep. Sandy Pasch, a mental health nurse; Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee Office Director of Disability Rights Wisconsin; Shel Gross, director of public policy for Mental Health America of Wisconsin and Hugh Davis, executive director of Wisconsin Family Ties.