The multidisciplinary approach to mental health crisis management: an Australian example

J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2004 Feb;11(1):21-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2004.00647.x.


Changes within the Australian health care system have led many people with mental health disorders to use emergency departments as the point of access to mental health services. Staff in emergency departments are not necessarily equipped to assess the needs of such clients. This paper briefly describes the development of a multidisciplinary mental health liaison team, within the emergency department of one hospital in Sydney, which was designed to assist both staff and clients. Available evidence suggests the implementation of the team has been a success, however, more research is required to confirm the effectiveness of this approach. Questions are raised about appropriate referral and follow-up for some clients. The study also found deficiencies in the method of routine data collection (Emergency Department Identification System), which makes formal auditing of the team and the services it provides a difficult task.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aftercare / organization & administration
  • Aged
  • Communication
  • Crisis Intervention / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Services, Psychiatric / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Male
  • Medical Audit
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • New South Wales
  • Occupational Therapy / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychiatric Nursing / organization & administration
  • Psychology, Clinical / organization & administration
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration
  • Social Work, Psychiatric / organization & administration