Psychiatric Emergencies

Santina Wheat*, Dorothy Dschida, Mary R. Talen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Psychiatric emergencies are acute disturbances in thought, behavior, mood, or social relationship that require immediate intervention as defined by the patient, family, or social unit to save the patient and/or others from imminent danger. Ensuring the safety of the patient, surrounding persons, and the medical team is the first step of evaluation. Treatment focuses on stabilization of the patient, then on specific symptoms and ultimately the cause of symptoms. There are important legal considerations, particularly regarding involuntary admissions. It is important to debrief with the patient, surrounding family, and the health care team to ensure a continued therapeutic alliance and the emotional health of all involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-354
Number of pages14
JournalPrimary Care - Clinics in Office Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Agitation
  • Homicide
  • Mania
  • Psychiatric emergency
  • Psychosis
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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