Crisis Services


Crisis Services provides primary emergency and crisis evaluation and treatment, both on-and off-site, through programs at two locations: the Psychiatric Emergency Service/Screening Center located in University Hospital’s Emergency Department, and the Crisis Services Clinic located at University Behavioral HealthCare in Newark. The Psychiatric Emergency Service Screening Center and the Crises Services Clinic operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 973-623-2323 for more information.


The Psychiatric Emergency Service/Screening Center and the Crisis Services Clinic provide services for all adults and children presenting to the UBHC system of behavioral care for emergency psychiatric evaluation and treatment. All individuals presenting an emergent need of evaluation and treatment are provided services regardless of residence or ability to pay. The Screening Center additionally operates a mobile outreach program that provides off-site emergency evaluations. Criteria for mobile outreach evaluations include evidence of psychiatric impairment and dangerous behavior to oneself or others.

ACCESS 1.800.969.5300

Patients may obtain services by walking in, or by calling the Access Center or the 24 hour hotline, which serves both locations (University Hospital and University Behavioral HealthCare). Crisis Services maintains active coordination/liaison relationships with other UBHC departments, with the inpatient psychiatric unit and medical units of University Hospital, University Hospital’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS), local area hospitals, police departments, and other agencies in order to facilitate access. Staff is able to arrange transport of a patient in crisis. A screening outreach team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When possible, telephone screening of referrals is conducted to determine the type of intervention required. Patients are also screened for need of primary medical treatment. Patients who are evaluated by the mobile outreach team, or who otherwise appear to require secure management, are evaluated at the Psychiatric Emergency Service/Screening Center at University Hospital, which provides a more secure setting.


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 to consider various 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, and utilization of 24-hour holding beds for stabilization. A psychiatrist is always on duly to provide intervention/consultation. Mental health clinicians and specialists, certified as mental health screeners through the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services, conduct crisis/emergency evaluations and mobile outreach evaluations. Mental health clinicians conduct brief outpatient therapy through the Crisis Services Clinic. Additional responsibilities of clinicians and specialists include supervision of patients who are held for stabilization and crisis telephone service. Supervision of clinical activities and service administration are the responsibility of the Clinician Supervisor, Clinician Administrator and Medical Director. Staff participate in numerous liaison activities with the county acute-care system and related agencies.


All patients not hospitalized are linked to the appropriate community resource. All referrals are confirmed with the receiving agency. Follow-up is provided to reinforce the 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. In the event that a patient who is referred for outpatient treatment would encounter an extensive delay for an initial appointment, Crisis Services will provide brief outpatient follow-up care through the University Behavioral HealthCare locations until the patient can be transferred to the appropriate agency/department. Crisis Services participates in interagency coordinating efforts through the County Systems Review Committee.