Wisconsin creates new Office of Children’s Mental Health

February 06, 2014

The Governor of the State of Wisconsin recently announced that Elizabeth Hudson will head up a new Office of Children’s Mental Health. In an era when we are seeing states either consolidate or completely do away with children’s mental health offices, this is welcome news. We will keep an eye on this one to monitor progress on keeping children’s mental health at the forefront of state policy discussions. Wisconsin Network faithful should be sure to give Ms. Hudson a hearty hello and let her know that you want to be involved in ways most helpful to improving services for youth with emotional challenges and their families.

Here is the announcement from Governor Walker’s office:

Hudson Named Director of the Office of Children’s Mental Health
Friday, January 31, 2014 - Press Release 

Madison – Governor Scott Walker announced today that he has appointed Elizabeth Hudson to be the Director of the newly created Office of Children’s Mental Health. 

The creation of the Office of Children’s Mental Health is part of a package of mental health reform initiatives included in the Governor’s 2013-2015 biennial budget.  The office will coordinate and integrate services focused on children’s mental health issues across state agencies. 

“Elizabeth’s background, especially in trauma-informed care, makes her a natural choice to lead this office,” Walker said.  “I am delighted she will be helping us usher in this important new service that will help ensure the healthy development of Wisconsin’s children.” 

Hudson is a nationally recognized expert on trauma-informed care.  While employed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health she worked with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to integrate trauma-informed care into a wide-range of human service settings. Hudson is also is a key member of Fostering Futures, a public/private partnership led by Wisconsin’s First Lady Tonette Walker, which is working toward integrating trauma-informed care into communities across Wisconsin. 

“I am deeply honored to accept this appointment.  The Office of Children’s Mental Health gives Wisconsin an unprecedented opportunity to ensure that children engaged in the public mental health system experience healing and recovery,” Hudson said. 

The responsibilities of the Office of Children’s Mental Health include: 

  • Facilitating communication with all state agencies serving children, coordinating initiatives, and monitoring program performance focused on children’s mental health. 
  • Supporting administrative efficiencies to allow for a reduction in duplication of efforts among state organizations devoted to children’s programming. 
  • Improving access to appropriate services to children, focusing on children’s services provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services; the Department of Children and Families; the Department of Public Instruction; and the Department of Corrections, as well as other organizations serving children in the State of Wisconsin. 

Hudson will begin her position on February 3. Click here for more information about the Office of Children’s Mental Health.

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