By Zainab Ahmed
Psychiatric care in the Emergency Department is all-or-nothing and never enough. Often, legal holds are the only intervention available, and they rarely are therapeutic. Upon discharge, our patients are, once again, on their own.
The ED acts as a safety-net for a failing health system, one that places little value on mental health services, either preventative or follow-up. The demand for acute psychiatric care is high; however, EDs have little physical capacity for psychiatric patients.