The patient population referred by police to psychiatric-emergency departments has been found to be the most seriously disturbed, the most in need of treatment, and the most draining of the resources of the mental-health-care delivery system. There have been relatively few studies of police-referred mental patients and few solid data on their diagnoses, treatment, and long-term prognosis. If psychiatrists are to be able to serve all patients adequately, new studies need to be undertaken of this group of patients and of the police officer's role in their admission to the mental-health system. States must continue to develop and implement procedures that will assist police in making psychiatric referrals, rather than to utilize systems so cumbersome as to make psychiatric disposition fraught with hindrances. Obviously, improving the ease of entry into the mental-health system will enhance the likelihood that police officers will make a psychiatric referral.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health