November 21, 2019
Lauren Kuhl, County Board Office, 608.283.1433
County Board

County Board will review findings during special meeting Thursday


The Dane County Board of Supervisors will hear a presentation of the Behavioral Health Study Needs Assessment that was completed by Public Consulting Group.  The presentation will occur in the Board Chambers at 6 pm prior to tonight’s regular Board meeting.


Throughout the last decade, the County Board has had a deep interest in the nexus between behavioral health and the criminal justice system.  The Board has invested in creating system improvements by bringing national experts, local leaders, and community champions to the table to reduce the use of criminal justice practices in behavioral health crisis’.


“This is an issue every family and every community face.  Behavioral health challenges touch every person, whether you live an urban or rural area, are black or white, or high or low income.” noted County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan (District 26 - Middleton).  “Dane County needs to assure that those crises don’t rise to the level of being booked into jail.  There are services and programs that should be amplified and more coordinated. “she continued. 


Dane County’s Department of Human Services contracted with Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) to review the behavioral health system across public and private providers and funders in the Dane County community.   The department asked PCG to provide recommendations to improve the availability and accessibility of behavioral health care in Dane County.


“Diverting our most vulnerable residents out of the jail has been a cornerstone of the Board’s work.  We’re excited to learn more about available resources and gaps for both urban and rural residents as well as best practices that can be implemented to continue our work,” said Supervisor Maureen McCarville, Chair of the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee (District 22 – DeForest area).


PCG provided seven recommendations to improve Dane County’s behavioral health care system including:

1. Maximize capacity through better facility and provider coordination

2. Establish formal partnerships between providers and facilities

3. Develop additional services to reduce gaps in care

4. Improve access to care for underserved populations

5. Increase diversion options

6. Extend crisis care to rural areas

7. Develop infrastructure for cross sector data-driven decision making


The County Board will hear more about these recommendations at 6:00pm on Thursday, November 21 in room 201 of the City-County Building (210 MLK Jr. Blvd).  The behavioral health needs assessment can be found here: https://danecountyhumanservices.org/dox/reports/bh_needs_assessment_2019-10-22_v2.pdf