Category Psychiatric Emergencies

Are There Alternatives to Emergency Departments when Facing a Psychiatric Emergency?

Robert Haggard

Robert Haggard, CRSS
Recovery Support Specialist
Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center, Skokie IL

The answer is a resounding yes, there are alternatives to emergency departments (EDs) for psychiatric emergencies. Person-centric, community-based crisis interventions found outside of traditional emergency departments serve a population with much-need, save lives and money, and offer hope. The Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center (TP) where I work is a viable, safe, accessible, welcoming, warm, and caring space that has provided an alternative to EDs since 2011 with an amazing 97% deflection rate from the hospitals in its surrounding area.

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The Hospital Failed My Father – And Our Family

Jess and Dad

by Jessica

My father battled depression his entire life but two years ago he suffered a debilitating setback. My mother took him to the local hospital to get help. He stayed for a few days and did very well while he was there. He loved the staff and talked about them for days afterward.

A few weeks later, my dad’s depression worsened. My mother decided to take him to a bigger hospital because they had a psychiatric unit. She thought they would be more help than our local hospital. I went with them to offer my support.

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How Can We Improve Emergency Department Psychiatric Care?

Scott Zeller, MD

Scott Zeller, MD
Chief of Psychiatric Emergency Services for the Alameda Health System

“John,” a 28-year-old man, is brought to a small community hospital emergency department (ED) after difficulty at home; he is at the time of arrival yelling at his mother and pulling painfully at his hair. John’s mother, who lives in the suburbs of a metropolitan area, is employed full-time as a software engineer and is prominent in the local community. Her employer-sponsored health insurance does not include coverage for John, but he does have Medicare.

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Suicide Prevention Efforts Aren’t Working. Here’s Why.

Donna Holland Barnes, PhD

Donna Holland Barnes, PhD
President/Co-Founder, National Organization for People of Color Against Suicide
Howard University, Department of Psychiatry

Now is a frustrating time to be working in suicide prevention. While death rates for the other leading causes of death are mostly decreasing or holding steady, death rates for suicide continue to climb. In 2000, the U.S. suicide rate was 10.4 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By 2011, the rate had climbed to 12.3 deaths per 100,000 people. Suicide rates among middle-age adults rose at an even higher rate, jumping nearly 30 percent between 1999 and 2010, according to the CDC.

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