Emergency Psychiatry Services at Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai’s dedicated Psychiatric Emergency Room provides evaluations and stabilization for patients in psychiatric crisis 24 hours a day. Medically stable patients are triaged directly to the Psychiatric Emergency Room, while patients with medical conditions requiring immediate intervention are evaluated and treated in the main Adult Emergency Room, with the ER physicians and psychiatrists collaborating on care. Patients aged 13 and older are evaluated and stabilized in the Psychiatric Emergency Room, and those 12 and under are evaluated and stabilized in the Pediatric Emergency Room in consultation with psychiatric staff. In addition to caring for patients in the Psychiatric Emergency Room, our staff provides 24-hour per day consultations for patients in the Adult and Pediatric Emergency Rooms as well as after-hours consultations for inpatients throughout the rest of the hospital.

Treating a Range of Psychiatric Disorders

We are proud of our skill and experience in helping patients of every ethnic and socio-economic background who are struggling with a range of psychiatric issues, including anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder, cognitive and memory problems, substance abuse disorders, and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. In addition to serving patients already in treatment with a Mount Sinai physician, we receive many referrals from private physicians, local psychiatric clinics and agencies, group homes and nursing homes.

Approximately one third of the patients we evaluate in the Psychiatric Emergency Room are admitted to one of our inpatient psychiatry units. The Mount Sinai Hospital provides one general adult psychiatry unit and one geriatric psychiatry unit. The other two thirds of patients are stabilized and discharged back to the community—either in continued care with a previous psychiatrist or with recommendations and/or arrangements made for follow-up with a new psychiatric provider. It is important to note that it is not our practice to prescribe routine medications from the Psychiatric Emergency Room; instead we believe that a patient’s regular physician is the most appropriate person to provide pharmaceutical therapies.

Providing Specialized Emergency Care

Our attending staff is comprised of both full- and part-time psychiatrists who have demonstrated special interest and skill in caring for patients in crisis. While we always strive to provide the most compassionate, efficient, and effective care possible, our ultimate responsibility is to maintain the safety of our patients and their loved ones, both in the Psychiatric Emergency Room and within the community at large.

Emergency Psychiatry Leadership

Kenneth Hung, MD
Director of the Psychiatric Emergency Department