How to Find an Emergency Room for Mental Health

How to Find an Emergency Room for Mental Health

In the US, it is estimated that one in eight ER visits are due to mental health. In most cases, going to the ER for a mental health issue is not the best choice. However, if the situation demands it, you can go to the ER for mental health issues. For instance, if someone with mental health has injured himself or herself, they need to go to the ER. Here is a bit more on mental health and the ER that we at Frontline ER have prepared.

How to handle mental health issues

Here are just some of the few measures you can take if you have mental health issues or you know someone who may experience a mental health issue:

Familiarize yourself with a psychiatrist

Mental health problems are rarely a surprise. They evolve slowly over time and you will see many obvious signs along the way. For instance, 90 percent of people who commit or attempt suicide usually give a sign that they will do it.

That means in most cases, there is enough time to find a professional who can deal with the issue before it has become an emergency. If a patient already has contact with an outpatient psychiatrist, they should contact them first. 


Before a crisis starts, people with mental issues and their family members can educate themselves about the issue. Having research-based materials is quite important. It will empower you or the family to understand how the condition works. This can help to prevent some of the triggers.

Learn to recognize an emergency

In most cases, an emergency arises when the person becomes a danger to themselves and others. In most cases, if someone is showing suicidal behavior, it is important to take them seriously. Thus, if someone near you begin to threaten others with violence, you should call 911 or escort the person to a nearby ER.

Besides that, if someone is showing signs of psychosis, you should take them to the ER. For instance, if they are experiencing paranoia, fears, or delusions, take them to the ER. If someone is extremely active, wild or agitated, you should take them to the ER. It is especially so if they do not respond to verbal instructions.

Sudden switches in behavior should also be considered. If a situation evolves rapidly, it may not even be a mental condition. It might be a sign that the person has been poisoned. Take them to the ER to have their blood tested for any foreign chemicals.

Look for alternatives

The ER may not be the best place to visit for a mental condition. This is because wait times can be quite long and the care is not efficient. In fact, an ER may refuse to hospitalize a patient for mental health unless they are homicidal or suicidal. Due to the high cost of care and low reimbursement from insurers, most mental professionals do not use hospitals.

​However, not everyone can access mental health care facility. In such a case, the ER is your best hope of getting help. If you cannot access care, you can try a suicide hotline. They will advise you on what steps you need to take.

Get support

Dealing with a mental health emergency is quite stressful. For you to handle the issue effectively, the loved ones need to care for themselves too. To achieve this, you can get in touch with others who have faced the same situation. You can also reach out to mental health organizations. Most of these organizations are national and will have a chapter in each state.

How to find an ER

Here is how to find an ER that will treat your mental health emergency:

Do your research

Mental illness is something that develops over time. It is thus important that you take time to find out which emergency rooms can assist. Some of the emergency rooms are not well equipped to handle mental health emergencies. It is thus important that you know which ones can assist in good time.

Ask for advice in mental health forums

The best way to deal with mental health is as a community. Join a community online or attend a support group in your area and find out, which ER is the best. At these meetings, you will find one or two emergency rooms that can assist you in times of crisis. They will also tell you which ER not to use. Sometimes, an ER may not even have the staff needed to handle a mental health issue.

Search on Google

Google is a great way to find an ER for mental health problems. After you find a few that you like, you can email them and ask if they handle mental health cases. They may reply to you and tell you the level of care you can expect. Besides that, you can just view their website to see if they offer support for mental health.


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