Over 5 million individuals visit hospital emergency departments each year with a primary mental
Families, individuals, law enforcement and others rely on emergency departments to provide
timely, competent and compassionate medical care during a psychiatric emergency.
California hospitals have decreased inpatient psychiatric beds by 22% over the last decade,
while the total number of acute care beds in the state has remained stable.
Up to 63% of individuals living with a mental illness also live with a significant medical condition
which may require care during a psychiatric medical emergency.
California has made significant progress in recent years in training law enforcement to respond
appropriately to situations that involve mental illness. (Crisis Intervention Training)
We should expand on the success of SB 82 (2013) by supporting additional capacity in the
community through mobile crisis teams, crisis stabilization units and peer respite.
Due to the current lack of crisis stabilization services in many counties, hospitals and emergency
departments are over capacity and working to provide emergency psychiatric care.
Emergency departments should be staffed with mental health professionals, and should provide
mental health training to staff, including emergency physicians.
We should encourage partnerships between hospitals, health systems, counties, law
enforcement, families and individuals in order to maximize our current capacity and provide the
For questions, please contact Advocacy@namica.org.
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