Clinical Services

Located within the Massachusetts General Hospital Emergency Department, the Acute Psychiatry Service addresses acute psychiatric, neuropsychiatric and substance-use emergencies in children and adults.

Acute Psychiatry Service (APS)

Through the Acute Psychiatry Service (APS), the Mass General Department of Psychiatry has provided consultation to emergency patients since the 1950s. With our 24-hour service, we are equipped to handle psychiatric emergencies around the clock and typically see more than 6,000 patients a year.

Treatment at APS

Please be aware that we are unable to provide treatment by phone or by appointment. All care takes place on a face-to-face basis in our dedicated area within the Emergency Department.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the high volume of emergency patients at Mass General, we encourage you to access other resources if you do not need emergency psychiatric care. You may also contact Outpatient Psychiatric Services at 617-724-7792.

Our Goals: Stabilization & Referral

Our main objectives are to stabilize the individual and then refer him or her to appropriate follow-up treatment, either within Mass General or elsewhere.

The APS is staffed by attending psychiatrists with expertise spanning many areas, including addiction treatment, child psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. Our multidisciplinary team also comprises the following professionals, who help our psychiatrists to assess and determine the best treatment plan for each patient:

  • Psychiatric residents
  • Psychology interns
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Child & adolescent psychiatry fellows
  • Social workers
  • Security personnel

Dr. Suzanne Bird is the director of the APS, with Dr. Curtis Wittmann and Dr. Abigail Donovan serving as associate directors.

Education & Research Efforts

As part of one of the country's premier academic psychiatry departments, the APS is committed to excellence in clinical care, education and research.

We serve as one of the key training sites for the Mass General-McLean Psychiatry Residency Program. In addition, students from Harvard Medical School and beyond undertake their advanced rotations here. As a result, patients are evaluated by world-class attending psychiatrists along with the best and brightest from the next generation in the field.

The MGH Emergency Department serves as one of three designated hospital emergency departments for the Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST).

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#2 in the nation for psychiatric care

U.S. News & World Report ranks Mass General psychiatry second among U.S. hospitals.

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