Psychiatric patients find relief in ER

-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA’>American Red Cross volunteers were on hand after a house fire in Austin left a family of 5 displaced on Thursday. The Red Cross provided emergency assistance, including infant formula and supplies, to the family after the blaze.

MASON CITY, Iowa – Emergency room staff are called on to handle a variety of issues and recently that includes psychiatric patients.

A recent trend in hospital visits is showing more patients with psychiatric concerns are opting for emergency rooms.
unfortunately, doctors say many emergency rooms either do not have enough beds or enough qualified professionals to meet demand.

Area specialists say this is a sign that we need to take mental health seriously.

“Staff there need to be qualified and competent with treating people with such psychiatric emergencies. Just as they might be with a Cardiovascular accident or a Myocardial infraction,” said Dr. Mark Peltan with Mercy Behavioral Services.

Back in the 1950′s, hospitals had one psychiatric bed per 300 Americans. Today, it’s more like one per 3,000.

“We need to have adequate outpatient treatment and adequate support for people with serious mental illness to have case management services so they make sure they take medications, therapy and get the therapy and counseling services and other supportive activities in the community,” said Peltan.

Dr. Peltan says to this day, they still receive phone calls from emergency rooms all over the mid-west for support when dealing with mentally ill patients.

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