Crisis and Screening Services


Crisis Services provides primary emergency and crisis evaluation and treatment, both on-and off-site, through the Acute Psychiatric Service (APS). In conjunction with APS, the Regional Screening Response Unit (RSRU) provides screening and crisis treatment to regional youth. These services are located on the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Piscataway campus and operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week; RSRU services are available 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and APS provides services for children during other hours. Call 732-235-5700 for more information.


Emergency services are available to persons from designated regions, persons in treatment at any University Behavioral HealthCare facility, or those who present at the UBHC facilities. For admission, patients must present with acute distress or dysfunction that requires immediate intensive intervention, acute mental disorder with risk of dangerous behavior, or situational crisis in family, interpersonal, vocational, or other functional spheres. Individuals who present with acute medical conditions may be referred out for prompt medical stabilization before an evaluation can be completed. Problems addressed include suicidal/homicidal thoughts/feelings/gestures and attempts; depression; anxiety; bipolar disorders; hallucinations; parent/child relation problems; school avoidance; and post-traumatic stress disorders.

ACCESS 1.800.969.5300

Patients may seek services by walking in or by calling. Crisis Services maintains active
coordination/liaison relationships with other UBHC departments and outside agencies and hospitals in order to facilitate access. A screening outreach team is available on a county-wide basis. Youths are referred for assessment by local agencies or professionals. When possible, telephone screening is conducted to determine the type of emergency intervention or alternative recommendation. Patients are also screened for medical clearance. The patient is triaged upon arrival. Patients who are brought to the unit on an involuntary basis or who otherwise appear to require secure management can be safely assessed and treated in a secure area.


Evaluation procedures are comprehensive and supportive of a patient in crisis. Every effort is made to achieve a full understanding of the patient’s needs and for consideration of intervention and disposition alternatives. Information is obtained from current or past therapists, family members, and other collateral sources. Multidisciplinary consultations are always available.


Treatment begins simultaneously with evaluation procedures, and the service offers a full range of crisis stabilization modalities. These include crisis intervention with patients and families, pharmacological therapy, referral for various services i.e., acute inpatient treatment, acute partial day treatment, acute intensive child partial treatment, outpatient treatment and rehabilitation services. A psychiatrist is always on duty to provide medical intervention/consultation. Mental health clinicians conduct walk-in evaluations and brief outpatient therapy. Responsibilities of nurses and certified paraprofessionals include caring for patients, screening, outreach, and crisis telephone service. Supervision of clinical activities and service administration is the responsibility of the Clinician Administrator and Medical Director. Staff participates in numerous coordination/liaison activities with county acute-care systems.


All patients not hospitalized are linked to the appropriate community resource. Follow-up may be provided to support patients awaiting outpatient treatment. Follow up is provided to reinforce the treatment plan or develop alternatives. Active coordination is maintained with UBHC services to ensure priority attention and exchange of information. Dispositions are reported to referring professionals and primary care physicians whenever possible. The Acute Psychiatric Service participates in interagency coordinating efforts through the County Systems Review Committee.