Introduction Special Section Psychiatric Emergency Services C. Deborah Cross, M.D., Guest Editor Psychiatric emergency services are a much needed, but usually rarely discussed, part of the mental health delivery system. The three articles presented here each outline a distinct, specific pro- gram: a psychiatric emergency service in Albany, New York; a comprehensive psychiatric emergency program in Queens, New York City; and a pediatric crisis service in Manhattan, New York City. Though each program has unique characteristics, their simi- larities are striking, and raise numerous questions regarding the future of psychiatric emergency and crisis services. The article by Breslow briefly describes the beginnings of psy- chiatric emergency services where it was sufficient for a psychia- trist (or trainee) to be called to the emergency room to briefly see the patient and make a disposition. However, it is clear that today most psychiatric services have to provide a comprehensive array of emergency interventions, such as mobile crisis teams, holding beds, access to emergency medications, medical evaluations, etc. As the vast array of psychiatric emergency services continues to expand, so too does the utilization of those services. All three pro- grams described in the articles have noted dramatic increases in utilization of services Psychiatric Quarterly Springer Journals


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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 2000 by Human Sciences Press, Inc.
Medicine & Public Health; Psychiatry; Public Health; Sociology, general
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