Use of Emergency Rooms for Mental Health Reasons in Quebec: Barriers and Facilitators

  • Marie-Josée FleuryEmail author
  • Guy Grenier
  • Lambert Farand
  • Francine Ferland
Original Article


This study explored barriers and facilitators in mental health (MH) patient management in four Quebec (Canada) emergency rooms (ERs) that used different operational models. Forty-nine stakeholders (managers, physicians, ER and addiction liaison team members) completed semi-structured interviews. Barriers and facilitators affecting patient management emanated from health systems, patients, organizations, and from professionals themselves. Effective management of MH patients requires ER access to a rich network of outpatient, community-based MH services; integration of general and psychiatric ERs; on-site addiction liaison teams; round-the-clock ER staffing, including psychiatrists; ER staff training in MH; and adaptation to frequent and challenging ER users.


Emergency rooms Mental health patient management Barriers Facilitators Qualitative methods 



This study was funded by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), Grant No. 30820.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed involving human participants in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the Helsinki declaration and its later amendments on comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

All participants provided informed written consent.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Douglas Mental Health University Institute Research CentreMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Health Administration, Policy and Evaluation School of Public HealthUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada
  4. 4.School of Social WorkLaval UniversityQuebec CityCanada

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