Redesigning emergency room psychiatry in New York

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Significant changes in the characteristics of persons using psychiatric emergency services have resulted in increased demands beyond the needs emergency services traditionally have been expected to meet. In New York City, these changes caused a crisis in psychiatric emergency services. The authors report a state statute that gave the New York State Office of Mental Health the authority to license a specialized psychiatric emergency service, a comprehensive psychiatric emergency program, within general hospitals designed to provide specialized assessment, stabilization, and referral services.