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Mental health patients, with nowhere else to go, are overwhelming emergency departments

from STAT

Anne Zink, MD and medical director for emergency medicine at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Alaska, writes, "When I walk through my hospital's emergency department, I'm sometimes overwhelmed by the number of people languishing there as they wait for help with a mental health issue, like the woman clutching her chest as if she's having a heart attack but is really suffering from a panic attack. It's her third time here in a week. She is just one of the hundreds of patients who will be admitted this year to my emergency department in the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer, Alaska, experiencing psychiatric emergencies." more

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