For over 30 years, the Community Access to Recovery Services Department of Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services has proudly served adults living with substance use and mental health disorders. We provide a range of supportive services to Milwaukee County residents that are rooted in compassion and dignity. Our goal is to eliminate barriers to behavioral health services and increase our community's ability to thrive. The CARS Department strives to be a space that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive, giving everyone the freedom to be their best self.
people served in 2021
CARS offers a variety of community-based locations that you or your loved one can easily visit or call.
A mental health, substance abuse or co-occurring disorder crisis can be very frightening. Knowing where to turn for help can improve your or your loved one’s chances of getting quickly connected to the necessary treatment and recovery services. CARS offers a variety of community-based access point locations that you or your loved one can easily visit or call.
The staff at each community-based access point location are specially trained to help you or your loved one begin the CARS assessment process. Working with you or your loved one, they will make recommendations for the treatment and recovery services that best meet your needs.
In many cases, a personal or family crisis occurs without warning. But that doesn’t mean the only time to think about a crisis is in the moment it is happening. There are things that you, your loved ones and even the general public can do to help prevent a crisis.
Being more aware of, informed about and educated on mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders is important for crisis prevention. That’s why CARS is taking steps now to help Milwaukee County residents like you become more knowledgeable about these life challenges.
As more people have a better understanding of mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, we can reduce the stigma, shame and embarrassment often felt by those in need. This, in turn, will encourage more individuals to reach out for help before a crisis occurs.
CARS also focuses on building bridges and opportunities in communities throughout Milwaukee County, working side by side with otherorganizations to help improve wellness and decrease the stigma of mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.
On the journey to recovery, it is not uncommon for you or your loved one to participate in and work through a variety of treatment programs. These Substance Use Disorder (SUD) programs may include:
- Residential treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Day treatment
- Medication assisted treatment
Mental Health programs may include:
- CBRF - Community Based Residential Facilities
The treatment teams will help guide you or your loved one in identifying and managing the symptoms of the mental health, substance abuse or co-occurring disorder.
By combining both proven clinical methods (i.e., medications, if needed) with relationship building, you or your loved one will learn how to safely and comfortably function at work, home and/or in the community. Even better, the treatment process will help you or your loved one enjoy an improved quality of life that will have you feeling healthier and more satisfied.
To help make sure you or your loved one continues to actively participate in treatment, Care management may be needed. This includes regular contact from a specially trained care manager who will work with you or your loved one to:
- Design a treatment and recovery plan
- Put the plan in place
- Monitor the plan
- Change the plan, if needed, to achieve recovery goals
Care management is another way the CARS team puts you or your loved one at the center of care and helps you or your loved one choose the options and services that best meet your needs.
Care Management programs may include
- AOT - Assisted Outpatient Treatment
- CCM - Crisis Case Management / TCM - Targeted Case Management
- SUD (Substance Use Disorder) TCM
- CCS - Comprehensive Community Services
- CSP - Community Supprot Program
- RSC - Recovery Support Coordination
No matter if you or your loved one is living with a mental health, substance abuse or co-occurring disorder, the CARS team believes recovery is possible for everyone. That's why CARS offers a variety of programs through recovery support services that will help connect you or your loved one with community-based resources for success.
These programs can include:
- IPS - Individual Placement Services
- Peer specialist services
- Spiritual support
- Supported employment
- Parenting assistance
- Anger management
- Domestic violence services
- Drop-in centers
- Physical health monitoring
In addition to the Recovery Support Services offered through CARS, CARS believes it is important for you or your loved one to also make meaningful connections with the people around you and within the community. These connections are just as important as the clinical treatment provided under our care.
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I have concerns about my services or the services my family member/loved one is receiving. Who can I talk to about this?
The first step in resolving your concerns with the service provider of you or your loved one should always start directly with that service provider. You should ask to speak to a supervisor to see if they are able to address your concerns. If your concerns are not addressed by the supervisor, you always have the right to file a grievance with that agency by meeting with their Client Rights Specialist. If your concerns are not resolved at that level, you can contact the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services Client Rights Advocate, Jennifer Pyles. She can be reached at 414.552.6692.
How can I get a bus pass?
Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services – Community Access to Recovery Services does not provide bus passes to individuals. The GO Pass program may be an option to explore.
The GO Pass program provides discounted transit on the Milwaukee County Transit
System (MCTS) for eligible older adults or persons with disabilities. The pass allows these
eligible riders unlimited rides on MCTS buses for $2 per day. With a multitude of routes,
the Milwaukee County Transit buses can take you throughout the county. Click here to learn more about the GO Pass: https://county.milwaukee.gov/files/county/department-on-aging/Brochure/GoPassFlyer.pdf
How do I obtain a free cell phone?
CARS does not provide free cell phones. However, a government phone may be an option.
Anyone who already participates in a state or federal assistance program is eligible for a free cell phone, or free cell phone service. When filling out the application, you will need to tell the company what type of assistance you are receiving. FoodShare, Medicaid, or BadgerCare are all examples of assistance programs. For additional information, please visit https://county.milwaukee.gov/DSD/Documents/GetaFreeCellPhoneorFreeCellPhoneService1.pdf
I need assistance with bills, rent, shelter, or food programs.
Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services – Community Access to Recovery Services does not provide financial assistance for bills, housing, or food.
211 is the best resource to assist you with these types of needs. The website to search for assistance is: https://www.211.org or you can dial 211 from your phone.
What is a Three-Party Petition? How do I file a Three-Party Petition?
A Three-Party Petition is a legal document claiming that a person meets all three criteria for civil commitment (mentally ill, drug dependent, or alcohol dependent; medically treatable; and a danger to himself/herself or others). The petition must include notarized statements from three adults that describe the person’s dangerous or violent behavior. All three statements must tell about events that the witnesses have personally seen within the past 60 days leading up to the petition.
NOTE: A Three-Party Petition for an alcohol dependent person also must have sworn statements from three adult eyewitnesses to the person’s dangerous or violent behavior, but the petition follows slightly different rules. If you are trying to start a Three-Party Petition for an alcohol dependent person, you should still send in a screening form.
Please visit: https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/Corporation-Counsel/Three-Party-Petitions for more information.
Can I obtain a Personal Care Worker (PCW) or be paid/employed as a Personal Care Worker through Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services – Community Access to Recovery Services (CARS)?
CARS does not employ or provide PCWs. To obtain a PCW, the individual’s primary care doctor needs to write a prescription and insurance would then cover the cost for this service. Long-Term Care services may also be explored for coverage. If the individual in need of a Personal Care Worker is over the age of 60, contact the Department on Aging: 414.289.6874; If the individual in need of a Personal Care Worker is age 59 and under, contact the Disability Resource Center: 414.289.6660.
What does SPMI mean?
SPMI is the acronym for Severe and Persistent Mental Illness. Examples include Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder.
Who do I contact for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) evaluation?
Contact the IMPACT Intoxicated Driver Program: 414.649.4380