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
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
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 patients 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
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.