General Hospital Psychiatric Emergency Services

  • Ellen L. Bassuk
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


From humble origins in the occasional consultations provided by general hospital psychiatric departments for problems encountered in hospital wards, “acute psychiatric services,” “walk-in clinics”—call them what you will—have mushroomed in the past decade partly as a response to a growing need for emergency care and partly under the stimulus of the community movement. At the same time, the case load of these facilities has grown at a phenomenal pace … and those responsible for running psychiatric units have sometimes felt as if they were fighting the battle of the bulge as they have poured staff and residents into the breach to stem the onslaught.1

Written more than a decade ago, this editorial comment still captures the prevailing mood surrounding the astounding growth in utilization of psychiatric emergency services in general hospitals. If the expected rate of increase of total emergency room (ER) visits continues at 11% per year, then the patient volume will double every year.2–4 These trends cannot be accounted for by the increase in population and far exceed the growth in inpatient or outpatient facilities.


General Hospital Emergency Service Psychiatric Service Crisis Intervention Psychiatric Emergency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen L. Bassuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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