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Mental Health Services Availability and Admission of the Seriously Mentally Ill from the Emergency Department

JHHSA, Vol. 31 No. 3, (2008)

This study used a cross-sectional, multiple logistic regression design to examine the relationship between mental health service availability and the admission of 111,527 seriously mentally ill (SMI) patients from the emergency department (ED) in New York State in 2002. The study found that SMI patients were admitted from the ED in counties that were mental health professional shortage areas and in counties with less long-term inpatient psychiatric days. Contrary to expectations, counties with community mental health centers (CMHCs) had more admissions than counties without CMHCs. The results support prior research that indicates the need for more specialized mental health services for the SMI, including more psychiatric beds.

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