Mental Health Care in the ER

Although the emergency room typically deals with physical health issues like injuries and illness, there are also mental health emergencies that need to be addressed in the hospital. When someone is having a mental health crisis, often the ER is the best place to get immediate assistance so that they are not a danger to themselves or others. Being safe during a mental health emergency should be the highest priority and the ER is able to provide basic mental health care to patients in need.

At the ER, staff are trained to handle mental health emergencies by asking certain questions to evaluate the severity of the situation. They can assess what type of issues you are dealing with and either recommend that you see a mental health professional or have you transferred to a treatment center that can provide you with the help you need. In some cases they might have a patient admitted to the hospital for a few days if they believe they are a danger to themselves.

The ER can admit patients who are struggling with mental health issues such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or any other problem that has escalated into a crisis. A mental health emergency usually means that the person has reached the point of a break down and may have become violent, has the intent to harm themselves or others or has attempted suicide. The ER is a place to keep you or your loved one safe until they can be provided with proper mental health treatment.

Although the ER is equipped to deal with a crisis temporarily, it is important for the patient to follow up and receive long term treatment and care at a mental health facility. After a stay at the hospital, they may consider enrolling in a residential recovery program to treat their disorder.