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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 35 (1993) 8

New research

Acute psychiatry in the Regional Ambulatory Services for Mental Health in the Netherl

B.P.R. Gersons, P.P.G. Hodiamont, M.C.H. Donker, C.A.Th. Rijnders, H.R. Hull, L. van den Bogerd

A survey of the people who make use of the emergency services of the Regional Ambulatory Services for Mental Health (RIAGG s) in The Netherlands shows that they are mainly young, unmarried people who live alone. A small percentage of them has no fixed address. Few of them are employed. Remarkably many of them report support from their acquaintances, conflicts with them notwithstanding. Symptoms and a high assessment of danger and trouble demonstrate manifest psychopathology. Psychiatric events in the past are very frequent. Life-events are reported as being related to the crisis in about one half of the cases. Obviously, the emergency services of the RIAGG s fill a need, mainly for people with long-time psychiatric and social problems. Surprisingly, the total number of psychiatric admissions has risen considerably since the start of these services in 1984. This raises the question wether the efforts of so many people (both ambulatory and intramural) is not in contradiction with the need for continuity of care for this targetgroup.