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.

Programs and research

Leading mental 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.

Mental health services

Our psychiatrists, psychologists and clinicians provide hope and support to improve the wellbeing of children and adults affected by mental 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 abuse, addiction and mental health concerns. Care is supervised by a psychiatrist who provides psychiatric and substance abuse treatment services and consultation with a team of dedicated, licensed therapists. Together they provide sensitive and confidential adult and adolescent drug, alcohol and mental health services.

We also provide services to help people quit smoking or using tobacco. The UW Health Smoking Cessation program offers individual and group counseling, with FDA-approved medications for treating tobacco dependence, including combination therapies.

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

Our LAUNCH group offers support to young adults (ages 18–30) learning to manage mood disorder symptoms.

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

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

  • Adjustment disorders

  • Alcohol and other drug abuse

  • 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:

Treatments for mental and behavioral health conditions vary based on your needs or diagnosis. Treatments can include:

  • Group therapy

  • Adult Inpatient treatment program

  • Medications

  • Substance use disorder treatment

  • Talk therapy (psychotherapy)

  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

  • Ketamine

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

  • Cancer psychology

  • Digestive health

  • Women's health

  • Neurology

  • Pain management

  • Sports psychology


Locations across Wisconsin

Our behavioral health team sees patients at clinics in and around Madison. We also see patients at locations throughout Wisconsin in Beaver Dam, Belleville, Fitchburg, Middleton, Monona, Oregon and Windsor.

Our specialty behavioral health centers include:

• Behavioral Health and Recovery
• Wisconsin Psychiatric Institute and Clinics (WISPIC)
• Odana Atrium Clinic Behavioral Health
• Yahara Clinic Behavioral Health
• East Clinic Behavioral Health

  • UW Health Behavioral Health and Recovery Clinic
    UW Health Behavioral Health and Recovery Clinic
    Behavioral Health and Recovery Clinic
    • 1102 S. Park St. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 282-8270
    • Closed now
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  • 2275 Deming 748348-8376
    2275 Deming 748348-8376
    Behavioral Health and Psychiatry Clinic
    • 2275 Deming Way, Suite 180 / Middleton, WI
    • (608) 282-8200
    • Closed now
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  • East Clinic - Behavioral Health
    • 5249 E. Terrace Dr. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 504-4100
    • Closed now
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  • 6001 Research Park 748348-0120
    6001 Research Park 748348-0120
    Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
    • 6001 Research Park Blvd. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 232-3171
    • Closed now
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  • Yahara Clinic - Behavioral Health
    • 1050 East Broadway / Monona, WI
    • (608) 287-5757
    • Closed now
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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 team includes experts in:

  • Integrated behavioral health

  • Addiction services

  • Inpatient adult psychiatric care

  • Outpatient psychiatry and behavioral health

Behavioral health
Pediatric behavioral health
Pediatric psychiatry
Pediatric psychology

Common questions

FAQ about behavioral health services

UW Health Behavioral Health provides assessment and treatment to patients seeking assistance with mental health concerns. We offer many programs and work with community organizations to ensure our patients receive the best care for their needs.

Get the answers you need

Here are some frequently asked questions about our programs and services:

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 wellbeing. Often you can successfully complete psychotherapy in a few months, but you may need long-term treatment in some cases. 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 in our unit at UW Hospital, 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 may 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 (A.A.)

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 may 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. You can call 911, the Dane County Crisis Line at (608) 280-2600, or the National Suicide Prevention Line at (800) 273-8255. You can also text the Crisis Text Line by texting "Go" to 741741.

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 (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 actually prescribe most mental health medications in the United States.

  • 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. View Our Psychologists

  • 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 or in private practice. Licensed, independent social workers (LCSW) have undergone an extra certification process.

  • Counselors: Counselors diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. Counselors may 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).

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 may be available for a speedy check-in.

Initial visits are typically 60 min long. Follow-up visits can be 30-60 minutes long, depending on the type of provider you are seeing.

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 may need to see you one more time to officially transition care before you see your new provider, as this is part of a healthy therapeutic relationship.

You can call the UW Health Behavioral Health Access Line at (608) 233-3575. UW Health accepts many forms of insurance; however, you may want to check with your insurance company regarding coverage for behavioral health services.

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 may 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.

Our UW Health Patient Resources department can help answer these types of questions and direct you to people and places that can assist you. You can reach them at (608) 821-4819.