Emergency treatment for mental health concerns refers to treatment provided to individuals presenting with an acute mental health crisis. These interactions often occur in psychiatric or general emergency facilities, or through emergency or crisis outreach services. General emergency rooms consistently provide the highest volume of services for psychiatric emergencies. Numbers of patients presenting with mental health emergencies have steadily increased since the 1970s, creating specific challenges for policymakers and service providers. This entry reviews factors influencing the increased presentation of mental health emergencies; introduces the basic components of treatment—that is, the typical providers and recipients of treatment; and considers crisis treatment outcomes. The entry concludes with an examination of challenges present in providing effective treatment for mental health emergencies and future trends within this field.

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