This study explored barriers and facilitators in mental health (MH) patient management in four Quebec (Canada) emergency rooms (ERs) that used different operational models. Forty-nine stakeholders (managers, physicians, ER and addiction liaison team members) completed semi-structured interviews. Barriers and facilitators affecting patient management emanated from health systems, patients, organizations, and from professionals themselves. Effective management of MH patients requires ER access to a rich network of outpatient, community-based MH services; integration of general and psychiatric ERs; on-site addiction liaison teams; round-the-clock ER staffing, including psychiatrists; ER staff training in MH; and adaptation to frequent and challenging ER users.
Keywords: Barriers; Emergency rooms; Facilitators; Mental health patient management; Qualitative methods.