Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers declares 2023 the ‘Year of Mental Health’

On Friday morning, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers delivered the Democratic Radio Address. Evers highlighted initiatives in his 2023-2025 biennial budget proposal that would “do the right thing for kids” and support their mental health.

Governor Evers’ budget initiatives on this issue include a more than $270 million investment to continue the “Get Kids Ahead” initiative, providing additional mental health supports to kids in school.

The plan includes $36 million per year to reimburse schools for costs of mental health professionals and more than $1.1 million for staff training.

The full radio address is as follows:

“Hey there, Governor Tony Evers here.
We cannot overstate the profound impact that the past two years have had on our kids, and that includes their mental health.
This year’s CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey report showed that, in 2021, more than 40 percent of our high school students felt so sad or hopeless nearly every day for at least two weeks in a row that they stopped doing their usual activities.
No one who has the privilege of working in the State Capitol can read these statistics and say that we’re already doing enough to support our kids.
Our kids can only achieve their full and best potential when they can bring their full and best selves to the classroom.
That’s why I declared 2023 the Year of Mental Health, and my budget includes $270 million to make our “Get Kids Ahead” initiative a permanent state program to ensure our kids have the school-based mental health resources they need to be successful both in and out of the classroom.
We’re also making critical investments to increase the number of mental health professionals across our state, develop robust prevention strategies to reduce suicide and self-harm, and continue supporting our three youth crisis stabilization facilities.
The state of mental health in Wisconsin is a quiet, burgeoning crisis, and we cannot look back and wonder whether we should’ve done more and sooner.
As a governor who’s also a grandfather, I am urging the Legislature to join me in doing what’s best for our kids and address this crisis with the urgency it deserves.
Thank you.”

Office of the Governor

More information about Evers’ mental health initiatives can be found here.