Child & Adolescent Psychiatry | Make a Gift


Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

The UnityPoint Health – Meriter – Child & Adolescent Psychiatry hospital is a unique facility in Dane County, providing support and services to children and teens who are in a state of mental health crisis.  Each year, over 800 children and their families turn to Meriter's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) hospital for safe, compassionate mental health care.  

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Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Expansion

UnityPoint Health – Meriter is embarking on an ambitious and meaningful expansion to transform the delivery of mental health treatment for kids.  Over the past 10 years, the number of children needing inpatient psychiatric care has grown by 77%. During the school year, up to 26 kids a day are referred to other facilities outside of Dane County because there isn't enough room locally to care for them.  Not all children who need help get it. With your support and the help of our community, there is hope.

See the Need

Approximately 1 in 5 young people in the U.S. have a mental, emotional or behavioral health disorder. 50% of lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75% by age 24.  Suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal and self-harming behaviors, the number of children and teens seeking inpatient treatment at Meriter has jumped from 455 to 804 kids in just 10 years.  Psychiatric problems are the leading cause of hospitalization for children in Wisconsin and the second leading cause of death for those 15-24 years.  Wisconsin consistently has higher youth suicide rates than the national average.

Our expansion plans include a new Children's Wing and an Outpatient Center. The wing will add 10 new patient rooms and activity and therapy spaces for children under 11. The existing facility will be updated including 20 rooms for adolescent patients, new therapy spaces, a classroom, and recreational areas. The Outpatient Center will provide critical day treatment services not readily available in our community. With this expansion, more kids will receive care:

 Current Facility  New Expansion by 2020 
 804 inpatient admissions        1,473 inpatient admissions  
 0 outpatient visits

3,054 outpatient visits  

Learn more about our expansion plans. 

See How You Can Help

With your support, we hope to:

  • Care for more kids and reduce the wait list 
  • Add 10 new inpatient beds and upgrade existing facility, which will increase admissions by 83%
  • Add outpatient services not readily available in the region 
  • Keep families together by reducing the need to travel long distances