Emergency Psychiatry - History


Since the 1960s the demand for emergency psychiatric services has endured a rapid growth due to deinstitutionalization both in Europe and the United States. Deinstitutionalization, in some locations, has resulted in a larger number of severely mentally ill people living in the community. There have been increases in the number of medical specialties, and the multiplication of transitory treatment options, such as psychiatric medication. The actual number of psychiatric emergencies has also increased significantly, especially in psychiatric emergency service settings located in urban areas. Emergency psychiatry has involved the evaluation and treatment of unemployed, homeless and other disenfranchised populations. Emergency psychiatry services sometimes can be accessibility, convenience, and anonymous. While many of the patients who used psychiatric emergency services shared common sociological and demographic characteristics, the symptoms and needs expressed did not conform to any single psychiatric profile. The individualized care needed for patients utilizing psychiatric emergency services is evolving, requiring an always changing and sometimes complex treatment approach.

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