All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

An Evers-made mental health crisis

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers posed for holy pictures late last month, pulling $5 million from his federal COVID aid grab bag to help tackle what experts have described as a crisis in children’s mental health.

In Wisconsin, it’s a crisis in large part of Evers’ making.

Between his illegal COVID lockdowns and his lack of backbone in standing up to his teachers union allies, the governor presided over a government-enforced isolation state that has fueled childhood depression, anxiety and depression.

And Evers’ dysfunctional state licensing agency, sitting on a mountain of backlogged applications, has forced psychologists, social workers and other mental health care professionals to wait several months for their licenses.

At a photo-op in Appleton, the governor announced the new $5 million federal grant program to expand telehealth services. Half of the funding will go to hospitals for expanded mental health programs for children.

The grant announcement follows Evers’ “Get Kids Ahead Initiative,” which provides $15 million of federal COVID aid to Wisconsin’s schools for mental healthcare — from hiring “mental health navigators” to training and family assistance programs.

“We know our kids are struggling now more than ever. A student who is in crisis isn’t going to be able to pay attention in school, finish their homework, or engage meaningfully with their friends or teachers,” Evers said last week at Eau Claire’s Northstar Middle School.

We also know now that the extended stay-at-home orders the Evers administration issued at the outbreak of the pandemic and the lockdown policies he pushed and supported over the last two years did enormous psychological damage to Wisconsin’s kids.

A new CDC survey found 44 percent of teenagers surveyed in the first six months of 2021 reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless.

“These data echo a cry for help,” CDC acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry, said of the findings in a press release. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created traumatic stressors that have the potential to further erode students’ mental well-being. Our research shows that surrounding youth with the proper support can reverse these trends and help our youth now and in the future.”

The study found higher rates of suicidal ideation and persistent feelings of loneliness.

Not surprising. Students were forced into failed remote learning systems and separated from their peers. While many school districts reopened to in-person learning in the fall of 2020, the state’s largest districts —  Milwaukee Public Schools, Madison Metropolitan School District and others — continued to lock students out long after the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention urged the return of student to in-person learning. A raft of early studies showed the mental health damage done from the social separation and isolation was much worse than the health risks of COVID to children.

Subsequent research has only confirmed those findings.

And Evers said nothing to educrats who refused to re-open their schools. He said nothing to the state’s teachers unions, one of his biggest source of campaign donations, when they demanded schools stay closed. He insisted the decision on in-person education was a local issue, though he fought in court to keep his crushing statewide lockdowns in place and pushed illegal COVID mitigation orders depriving local governments the power to choose.

Lawmakers and parents begged the governor to do something, say something.

“Students will continue to struggle academically and emotionally from this lost time,” Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said in early January as Madison and Milwaukee again locked their students out of classrooms and Evers remained silent. “Students are continuing to fall behind and low-income, minorities, students with disabilities, and students learning English are suffering the most.”

Meanwhile, a mental health care professional shortage plagues Wisconsin. The dearth of providers has been exacerbated by Evers’ state Department of Safety and Professional Services, where a backlog of license applications has slowed recruitment to a crawl.

As Empower Wisconsin has reported, psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, and other health professionals have waited months — in some cases a year or more — to get their credentials approved.

“Between horrendous customer service and not approving provisional licenses or psychology exams, it is clear that there are some serious problems going on with the Governor’s administration of DSPS,” said state Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Two Rivers), chairman of the Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform. “Wisconsin healthcare and mental health workers are waiting months (or more) to be able to provide care to our state because the Governor can’t get his department in order.”

Listen to more:

Explore More
Biden owns this

Biden owns this

Empower Wisconsin  | July 1, 2022 The Department of Justice has charged four men in connection with the deaths of…

Read More »

July 1, 2022
AOC gives Barnes her blessing — Is it the kiss of death?

AOC gives Barnes her blessing — Is it the kiss of death?

Empower Wisconsin  | July 1, 2022 In April, Mandela Barnes took off on one of the more preposterous tours of…

Read More »

July 1, 2022
Impressive field of black conservatives running for office

Impressive field of black conservatives running for office

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — Erik Ngutse was born into a genocide, lost his father to hatred and lived a…

Read More »

July 1, 2022
Supreme Court rejects Kaul’s power play

Supreme Court rejects Kaul’s power play

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — Liberal activist Attorney General Josh Kaul lost another taxpayer-funded lawsuit, with the Wisconsin Supreme Court…

Read More »

June 30, 2022
Hey, Evers, Biden! It’s inflation, stupid

Hey, Evers, Biden! It’s inflation, stupid

Empower Wisconsin  | June 30, 2022 MADISON — The one thing that almost everybody  — Republicans, Democrats, Independents —can agree…

Read More »

June 30, 2022
All Woke Up: The year in campus cancel culture

All Woke Up: The year in campus cancel culture

Empower Wisconsin  | June 27, 2022 It was a big year for the cancel culture on college campuses. There have…

Read More »

June 30, 2022

1 thought on “An Evers-made mental health crisis

  • The demorats have almost destroyed a generation of youth, with lockdowns and idiotic masking (I was in healthcare and research for 34+ years and knew those masks did nothing but trap disease inside and decrease O2 and CO2 exchange). then fake vax mandates. All to have power over others. Them add the pedo/homo attack on children. If my kids were little, there would be some very sorry lgbtqhijk scum trying to indoctrinate them. And lets not forget the heros that stood by in kenosha as mayor told them to stand down, and let old men get skull fractures defending property as animals were setting fires and attacking people, all coordinated out of madison. evers and the demorats in charge should be convicted for crimes against humanity. I will not forget that male and female hero video of the sheriffs of kenosha, harassing a mother because her child played on swings with the neighbor child. You dirty non heros

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.