Emergency Psychiatry

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JACLP Launches Emergency Psychiatry Section

‘It will improve the science of emergency psychiatry and call attention to vital, understudied areas of C-L Psychiatry’

A new section highlighting developments in emergency psychiatry is being launched in the Journal of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (JACLP).

The section underlines the prominence of emergency psychiatry practice and scholarship in the Academy.


The inaugural section editor is Scott Simpson, MD, MPH, FACLP, who previously chaired the Academy’s Emergency Psychiatry SIG. Dr. Simpson and Junji Takeshita, MD, FACLP, president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry, have written an editorial in the latest edition of JACLP (March/April) to discuss the importance of this new section and priorities for research in the field.

They say: “Delivering quality care to emergency and crisis settings has become an increasing concern to C-L psychiatrists. One reason is the volume of patients. Of more than 130 million emergency department (ED) visits every year, more than 10% are for a behavioral health presentation. 

“There were significant increases in such ED visits during the COVID pandemic and particularly among youth. Moreover, this patient population is at high risk of poor outcomes: ED patients are at double the risk of suicide in the ensuing year compared to the general population, and higher risk presentations confer still higher risk.”

EDs are the most common pathway by which patients are admitted to medical or behavioral health hospitals, and patients’ experience in this setting is the ‘front door’ for many departments’ revenue-generating clinical services. C-L psychiatrists often find themselves covering call, supervising residents, or referring patients to EDs as a routine part of their practice.

The Emergency Psychiatry SIG now has more than 900 subscribers, making it one of the largest professional groups dedicated to the treatment of behavioral emergencies.

C-L Psychiatry is well positioned to advance the practice of emergency psychiatry, say the editorial authors. C-L psychiatrists have expertise in the challenges common to EDs: discerning undifferentiated presentations, managing psychiatric and medical comorbidity, working alongside and educating providers of other specialties, and innovating systems-based practices.

The JACLP section will not only be clinically valuable to ACLP members but also solidify the journal’s position as a premier destination for scholarship in emergency psychiatry, where the need for better evidence-based practice has never been greater, say the authors. It will “improve the science of emergency psychiatry and call attention to vital, understudied areas of C-L Psychiatry. Better emergency psychiatry means delivering superior evidence-based care to high-risk patients who cannot otherwise receive it.”

The full editorial Better Science for Better Emergency Psychiatry: A New Section for JACLP is here.


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