(CNN)For decades, hospitals have strained to accommodate patients in psychiatric crisis in emergency rooms.
She was dancing on the roof and talking gibberish. A special kind of ER helped her
The horror stories of failure abound:
Patients heavily sedated or shackled to gurneys for days while awaiting placement in a specialized psychiatric hospital, their symptoms exacerbated by the noise and chaos of emergency medicine. Long wait times in crowded ERs for people who show up with serious medical emergencies. High costs for taxpayers, insurers and families as patients languish longer than necessary in the most expensive place to get care.
"If you are living with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, that is a really tough way to begin that road to recovery," said Dr. Jack Rozel, president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry.
In pockets across the country, hospitals are trying something new to address the unique needs of psychiatric patients: opening emergency units specifically designed to help stabilize and treat patients and connect them to longer-term resources and care. These psychiatric ERs aim to address the grow