Behavioral health: Promoting well-being, healing and recovery

Your emotional health is an essential part of your overall health and well-being. No matter what you are dealing with on the inside, UW Health can help. We offer advanced mental and behavioral health care services to help you feel whole.


Leading behavioral health care for all stages of life

At UW Health, we offer many programs to diagnose and treat behavioral health conditions. We also partner with experts across our health system to support the mental health needs of people with cancer and many other serious illnesses.

Behavioral health services

Our psychiatrists, addiction medicine specialists, psychologists and clinicians provide hope and support to improve the well-being of children and adults affected by behavioral health conditions. A variety of therapies are available for individuals, couples and groups.

UW Health Addiction services offer confidential services to help people overcome substance use, addiction and mental health concerns. Care is supervised by a psychiatrist, who provides psychiatric and substance use treatment services in consultation with a team of dedicated, licensed therapists. Together they provide sensitive and confidential adult and adolescent drug, alcohol and mental health services.

Compass Program

The UW Health Compass Program is a low barrier program that offers medications for opioid use disorder (buprenorphine/Suboxone and extended-release naltrexone/Vivitrol) and addresses other substance-related health concerns. We also help patients connect with necessary community and health care resources. The program is grant funded and provides financial assistance to uninsured patients to cover the cost of clinic visits, some labs and medications.


The SOLARAS Program available in Rockford, Illinois provides individuals with screening, outreach, connection and referral to medication-assisted treatment clinics and other support services to overcome drug addiction. Funding is provided in whole or in part by the State of Illinois Department of Human Services. Call (779) 696-4447 to find out how we can help.

For those needing extra support and care management, UW Health offers adult inpatient psychiatric services in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The Center for Mental Health, located in Rockford, Ill., provides inpatient treatment for children and adolescents from 5-17 years of age and partial hospitalization treatment for adolescents from 12-17 years of age struggling with mental health challenges.

The Center for Mental Health, located in Rockford, Ill., offers a partial hospitalization program (no overnight stay) for adults and adolescents ages 12-17. Services may include psychiatric care, group and individual therapy plus medication and case management.

Conditions and treatments

Compassionate care and treatment options

Our individual and group therapy sessions, specialized programs and personalized treatment plans will help you heal.

What we treat

Conditions we treat

Our experienced team treats a wide range of behavioral and emotional health conditions. These include:

  • Adjustment disorders

  • Alcohol and other drug use

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD and ADHD)

  • Mood disorder

  • Depression

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Personality disorder

  • Psychotic disorders

How we can help

Suicide prevention

Recognizing the signs of suicide can help prevent a tragedy. UW Health offers many suicide prevention resources. For immediate assistance, call:

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential support for anyone experiencing a suicidal, mental health and/or substance use crisis.

People of all ages who need help for themselves or a loved one can access the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by:

  • Calling 988 (multiple languages)

  • Sending a text message to 988 (English only)

  • Using the chat feature at

Treatments for mental and behavioral health conditions vary based on your needs or diagnosis. Not all treatments and services offered at all locations. Treatments can include:

  • Group therapy

  • Adult, child and adolescent inpatient treatment program

  • Adult and adolescent partial hospitalization treatment program

  • Medications

  • Substance-use disorder treatment (Addiction services)

  • Talk therapy (psychotherapy)

  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

  • Ketamine

Our health psychologists, located in Wisconsin, are linked to many UW Health programs and clinics, including:

  • Cancer psychology

  • Digestive health

  • Women's health

  • Neurology

  • Pain management

  • Sports psychology


Finding support

Behavioral Health offers care in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Meet our team

Experts by your side

The mental and behavioral health team at UW Health is specially trained to care for all types of psychiatric and psychological conditions.

Mental health issues can cause feelings of isolation or loneliness. Our teams in Wisconsin and Illinois include experts in:

  • Integrated behavioral health

  • Addiction services

  • Inpatient adult psychiatric care

  • Inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric care

  • Outpatient psychiatry and behavioral health

Behavioral health
Pediatric behavioral health
Pediatric psychiatry
Pediatric psychology

Common questions

FAQ about behavioral health services

Here are some frequently asked questions about our programs and services. Note that not all programs, treatments and services are available at all locations.

Anyone struggling with negative thoughts, feelings or behaviors and anyone living with a mental health concern, whether short- or long-term, can benefit from mental health treatment.

Treatment depends on your mental health concern, its severity and what works best for you. In many cases, a combination of treatments will help the most.

Although psychiatric medications don't cure mental illness, they can often significantly improve symptoms. Psychiatric medications can also help make other treatments, such as psychotherapy, more effective. The best medication for you will depend on your particular situation.

Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, involves talking with a mental health provider. During psychotherapy, you learn about your moods, feelings, thoughts and behavior. With the insight and knowledge you gain, you can develop coping and stress management skills. There are many types of psychotherapy, each with a specific approach to improving your mental well-being. Often you can successfully complete psychotherapy in a few months, but in some cases you might need long-term treatment. It can take place one-on-one, in a group or with family members.

Group therapies
Our clinics offer group therapies for adults, teens and children. You can ask your provider for more information about these groups as offerings vary.

Hospital and residential treatment programs
Sometimes mental illness becomes so severe that you need care in a psychiatric hospital. We recommend hospitalization when you can't care for yourself properly or when you're in immediate danger of harming yourself or someone else. Options include 24-hour inpatient care, partial or day hospitalization or residential treatment, which offers a temporary, supportive place to live. UW Health offers inpatient care at University Hospital in Wisconsin and SwedishAmerican Hospital in Illinois, and we also refer patients to more intensive treatment options in your area.

Substance abuse treatment
Substance abuse can occur along with other mental illnesses and often interferes with treatment. If you can't stop using drugs or alcohol on your own, you need treatment. Substance abuse treatments include:

  • Psychotherapy, to learn more about your condition and gain insight

  • Medications, which can help ease withdrawal symptoms or reduce cravings

  • Inpatient treatment, such as withdrawal (detox) treatment

  • Outpatient treatment programs, which require regular attendance for a set period of time

  • Support groups or 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Each mental health condition has its own set of signs and symptoms. In general, however, professional help may be warranted if you or a loved one experiences:

  • Excessive anxiety

  • Extreme mood swings or excessive anger, hostility or violent behavior

  • Inability to cope with problems or daily activities

  • Marked change in personality, eating or sleeping patterns

  • Prolonged depression or loss of interest or enjoyment

  • Strange or extreme ideas

  • Substance abuse

  • Thinking or talking about suicide

Many people who have mental health conditions consider their signs and symptoms a normal part of life. They might also avoid treatment out of shame or fear. If you're concerned about your mental health or a loved one's mental health, don't hesitate to seek advice.

Seek immediate assistance.

If you are located in Dane County, Wisconsin, you can call 911, the Dane County Crisis Line at (608) 280-2600.

Nationally, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free confidential support for anyone experiencing a suicide, mental health and/or substance use crisis.

People of all ages who need help for themselves or a loved one can access the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by:

  • Calling 988 (multiple languages)

  • Sending a text message to 988 (English-language only)

  • Using the chat feature at

A bit of helpful advice from Do you need help starting a conversation about mental health? Try leading with these questions and carefully listen to your friend or family member's response.

  • I’ve been worried about you. Can we talk about what you are experiencing? If not, who are you comfortable talking to?

  • What can I do to help you talk about issues with your parents or someone else who is responsible and cares about you?

  • What else can I help you with?

  • I am someone who cares and wants to listen. What do you want me to know about how you are feeling?

  • Who or what has helped you deal with similar issues in the past?

  • Sometimes talking to someone who has dealt with a similar experience helps. Do you know of others who have experienced these types of problems who you can talk with?

  • It seems like you are going through a difficult time. How can I help you to find help?

  • How can I help you find more information about mental health problems?

  • I'm concerned about your safety. Have you thought about harming yourself or others?

When talking about mental health problems:

  • Communicate in a straightforward manner

  • Speak at a level appropriate to a person’s age and development level (i.e., preschool children need fewer details than teenagers)

  • Discuss the topic when and where the person feels safe and comfortable

  • Watch for reactions during the discussion and slow down or back up if the person becomes confused or looks upset

UW Health complies with state and federal rules and regulations regarding patient confidentiality which will be discussed once treatment starts.

There are many types of mental health care professionals. Working with them is easier when you know about their different treatment roles.

The following professionals can prescribe medication at our clinics. They may also provide assessments, diagnoses and therapy.

  • Primary care providers: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology doctors can often treat common mental health concerns and prescribe most mental health medications in the U.S.

  • Psychiatrists: Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors with medical and psychiatric training. They can diagnose mental health conditions and prescribe and monitor medications and also offer counseling and provide therapy.

  • Residents are psychiatrists in training and can care for patients under the direction of board-certified psychiatrists at our clinics.

  • Clinical psychologists: Clinical psychologists with a doctoral degree in psychology make diagnoses and provide individual and group therapy.

  • Interns are clinical psychologists in training and can provide therapy under the direction of clinical psychologists at our clinics.

  • Clinical social workers: Clinical social workers have a master’s degree in social work and make diagnoses and provide individual and group counseling, case management and advocacy. Clinical social workers often work in hospitals or clinics. Licensed, independent social workers (LCSW) have undergone an extra certification process.

  • Counselors: Counselors diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. Counselors can focus on different areas and can have titles such as Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADAC) and Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT).

In Wisconsin: For services call the Behavioral Health Access Line at (608) 233-3575.

In Illinois: For mental health services call (779) 696-4123.

UW Health accepts many forms of insurance; however, you might want to check with your insurance company regarding coverage for behavioral health services.

You can decide who you want to bring with you for support.

When you visit our clinics, reception staff are available to guide you through check-in. After your initial visit, check-in kiosks might be available for a speedy check-in.

The length of treatment varies depending upon the problems you face and the nature of the treatments you and your provider select. You and your provider can work together to decide how long you should be in treatment to gain the most benefit possible.

Your fit with your provider can strengthen your response to treatment. If you feel that your provider is not a good fit, you can talk with them about seeing someone else (all providers know how to help patients in this situation). Your current provider might need to see you one final time to officially transition care before you see your new provider, as this is part of a healthy therapeutic relationship.

The best way to find out is to contact your insurance company. You can find the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.

There might be several community facilities that provide a sliding fee scale based on your income. If you have a UW Health primary care provider, you may contact the UW Health Financial Assistance Program at (877) 278-6437.

For our Wisconsin-based locations, our UW Health Patient Resources department can help answer these types of questions and direct you to people and places that can assist you. Call them at (608) 821-4819.

For patients receiving care at an Illinois-based location, contact our UW Health Patient Relations department at (779) 696-3898.