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New Psychiatric Emergency Department Meets Growing Need for Mental Health Services

In recent years, General Hospital’s Emergency Department has seen a sharp increase in the number of patients needing psychiatric emergency care.

For patients in crisis with conditions such as anxiety, depression, psychosis or substance abuse, the hustle and bustle of the traditional Emergency Department may be overwhelming.

To better meet patients’ needs, General Hospital opened the Psychiatric Emergency Department on Jan. 17, 2017, a special unit within the Emergency Department at General Hospital.

“We have seen so many patients who need this psychiatric emergency care,” says Bart Charleson, MD, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. “We felt we had a responsibility to offer these specialized services.” He notes that General Hospital’s Emergency Department treats about 475 behavioral health patients each month.

With 11 private treatment rooms, the Psychiatric Emergency Department offers high quality, personalized emergency mental healthcare 24/7. The unit provides a quiet and secure space, with rooms that have minimal equipment and are designed for the safety of patients.

Care for behavioral health patients is enhanced by specialized psychiatric emergency units because they are staffed by trained specialists who can effectively and efficiently evaluate and treat patients experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

The Psychiatric Emergency Department’s providers and staff are able to quickly determine the level of inpatient or outpatient care that a patient might need. Additionally, the unit’s staff collaborates with community agencies to ensure continuity of care for patients.

“We saw a need, and we’re addressing it in ways that help save lives and enhance patient health,” says Gerry Khan, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry. “We are thrilled to offer this unique service.”

Psychiatric Emergency Department
• 24/7 personalized care
• Safe, protected environment
• 11 private treatment rooms
• Trained behavioral health specialists
• Continuity of care