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Psychiatric Emergencies

General information

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency or is in a life threatening situation, call 9-1-1 and say: “I’m calling about a mental health emergency and request a CIT (Crisis Intervention Trained) Officer.”

CIT Officers have special training and know best how to get you the help you need. Here are easy-to-follow guidelines for calling 9-1-1 during a mental health emergency.

About Our Services

San Mateo Medical Center’s Psychiatric Emergency Services is one of two 24-hour psychiatric emergency rooms serving San Mateo County. We serve adults, seniors, and youth who voluntarily seek emergency psychiatric assistance during a crisis, or who have been detained involuntarily (5150).

We provide acute psychiatric evaluation, crisis intervention, and referral services and are the gateway to acute inpatient admissions. Interpreters for all languages are available 24 hours a day.

What to Expect

Every patient is under the care of a psychiatric registered nurse and a psychiatrist at all times. The psychiatrist will complete an evaluation, make a diagnosis and determine a plan of care. Care plans may include:

  • Crisis intervention with follow-up services as appropriate, either behavioral health or substance abuse
  • Medication and stabilization, or
  • Medication and subsequent hospitalization for further stabilization

Evaluation and determination of a discharge plan will be as prompt as possible within a 24-hour period.

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Mental Health Services

Behavioral Health and Recovery Services provides mental health services to individuals who are eligible for Medi-Cal and/or members of the Health Plan of San Mateo through outpatient clinics in Daly City, San Mateo, the Coastside, Redwood City and East Palo Alto, in school-based locations, and through a network of community agencies and independent providers who offer outpatient services, residential treatment, rehabilitation and other services for adults and children.