Psychiatric patients are lingering for days at a time in New Jersey emergency rooms because overflowing psychiatric hospitals have no room for them.

With more limited outpatient treatment available these days to help people avoid a crisis situation and fewer psychiatric facilities, patients in need of mental health care are too often left in limbo. A July survey found that patients wait 48 hours on average in New Jersey emergency rooms before being admitted to a psychiatric facility.

What’s more, even those who get the care they need to address a crisis situation are likely to remain in a psychiatric hospital setting longer than necessary because appropriate residential options in the community are simply unavailable. At one facility alone, 50 patients currently await an alternative placement.

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The troubles come at a time when hospitals are cutting back on mental health care due to budget concerns just as economic stresses are creating an increased need for such treatment, reports The (Bergen, N.J.) Record. To read more click here.