Rights and Legal Issues
Persons Experiencing Psychiatric Crises: Information for Emergency Department Staff and Others Regarding Available Resources, Protocols, and Requirements
What Alternatives to Hospitalization Are Available?
Outpatient Observation Beds
Outpatient observation is a brief but intensive hospital-based service designed to reduce the
need for inpatient admission, when appropriate.
Observation beds offer medical psychiatric evaluation and treatment, therapeutic interventions as needed, discharge planning, and a diagnosis and level-of-care recommendation from a psychiatrist or independently licensed psychiatric practitioner within a period of up to 48 hours.
Because observation beds are considered as outpatient services, a stay in an observation bed does not constitute a hospital admission. Observation beds currently exist at Acadia Hospital and Spring Harbor Hospital.
Crisis Stabilization Units
Crisis Stabilization Units (CSUs) are short-term, highly supportive and supervised community residences. They provide an alternative to hospitalization for a person in crisis who needs a more intensive level of care than outpatient services can safely provide. Components of service include monitoring of behaviors, therapeutic interventions, supportive counseling and skills teaching, supervision to assure personal safety, coordination with other community-based services, and discharge planning. These residences are staffed 24/7 and provide a safe environment in which an individual can stabilize and prepare for return to a home environment.