3 ways to expand access to mental health care beyond adding more psychiatrists

(By Scott Breitinger for STAT)

About once a shift, I see a patient who has been unnecessarily — and often to his or her dismay — routed to my hospital’s locked psychiatric emergency unit in the process of simply trying to figure out where to go for routine psychiatric care. I’ve evaluated an attorney, a medical student, an internationally renowned musician, and many others who didn’t need to go through the unpleasant and potentially scary process of sitting through an extensive evaluation in an austere, security-monitored environment. Their journeys took them to this daunting unit not for lack of acumen or social or financial resources, but because finding the correct mental health care pathway can be bewildering and wrong turns are common. Continue reading article here…

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