Insurance coverage

Local mental and behavioral health center pushing for longer insurance coverage for children

MILWAUKEE — “Is there a real time limit for mental health and healing,” Tracy Weber asked.

Tracy Weber is a Milwaukee mother of an adopted daughter and an adoptive mother of a baby boy. She has been busy getting mental health help for the two children for years of trouble.

“Trauma is brain-based and to heal the brain will take time,” Weber said.

ATM4

Tracy Weber

She took both children to the STRONG Milwaukee Center, a place where children as young as five can receive mental and behavioral health services. She says the insurance covered services for three months for her son and six months for her daughter, but it wasn’t enough.

“I just wish it lasted longer,” Weber said.

She eventually left the center when personal expenses became too much. Dr. Ashely Schoof, clinical director of the STRONG Milwaukee Center, understands the frustration felt by parents.

Dr. Ashley Schoof

ATM4

Dr. Ashley Schoof, Senior Clinical Director of Strong Milwaukee

“If a child has been through five years of trauma, they come to me at the age of seven or eight. I really only have about 30 days to try to process this and that’s not enough time. J ‘ve tried talking to some of these insurance companies, their doctors, their executives and it doesn’t seem to be working so well,” Dr. Schoof said.

That’s why she and other mental health advocates are working with insurance companies to try to change these types of policies.

FORT Milwaukee

ATM4

“I hope to connect with senators who also care about the well-being of Milwaukee’s children. I want to make sure we talk about it continuously, or we’ll forget it’s an issue,” Dr. Schof.

Dr. Schoof hopes to ensure services are covered for at least a year or longer if a doctor deems it necessary. It’s something Weber hopes to happen sooner rather than later.

“If we really want to start looking at critical changes for our nation, our community, our families, we need to think about mental health and we need to think about it seriously.”

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip