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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 50 (2008) 13, 35 - 39

Short report

Emergency psychiatry in Belgium; a challenge for the mental health services

R.P. Bruffaerts, K. Demyttenaere, S.J. Claes

summary
In Belgium emergency psychiatry is a discipline that has developed only recently, following two federal pilot projects, one in 1993 and one in 2002. At present there are 10 subsidised psychiatric emergency rooms (pers) in Belgium, serving about 13,000 patients annually. Many of those seeking help are 'revolving-door' patients, but the pers also serve patients who have had no prior contact with the mental health care service. The disorders that are encountered most often have to do with substance abuse (about 30%) and mood disorders (17%). More than 4 in 10 patients were admitted to a psychiatric clinic after being referred to a per. Research suggests that the link to continuous care may reduce the 'revolving-door' phenomenon.

 

keywords Belgium, emergency psychiatry, emergency psychiatric help, epidemiology