It’s important to get the proper follow-up care within 7 days after you (or a family member aged six and older) are discharged from the hospital or an emergency department (ED) visit for mental illness or self-injurious behavioral concerns.
Follow Up Care After Hospitalization
Before you leave the hospital, a hospital social worker or discharge planner will work with you to help you get appropriate support after your hospitalization.
They will help you schedule an appointment with a behavioral health specialist (not your PCP) either in person or telehealth within 7 days of discharge (but not the same day as discharge).
To make sure you get the care you need:
- Schedule your follow-up care appointment with a behavioral health specialist ahead of time instead of going to a walk-in appointment.
- It is very important that you go to the scheduled appointment.
- Talk with the hospital social worker or discharge planner about any problems that makes it hard for you to keep your follow-up appointment (such as: remembering the appointment, transportation, childcare, etc.)
- Ask the hospital social worker or discharge planner to coordinate care with any community-based programs you work with.
- The social worker or discharge planner can refer you to care management services, if you’d like someone to help you coordinate your care.
- For your convenience, your follow-up appointment can be in-person or through telehealth (telephone/virtual). This is highly recommended.
Your follow-up appointment should be with a behavioral health specialist not your primary care provider.
Here are some examples of behavioral health specialists who can provide proper follow-up care:
- Clinical social worker (LICSW, LCSW, LMHC)
- Mental health occupational therapist,
- Psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist
- Professional counselor
- Marriage and family therapist (LMFT)
Follow Up Care After Emergency Department Visit
If you visit the emergency department for a mental health concern, it’s important that you schedule an in-person or telehealth follow-up care appointment within 7 days.
These tips will help you get the support you need:
- Please make sure you have an in-person or telehealth follow up care appointment with a behavioral health specialist within 7 days.
- Discuss your preferences for treatment with the emergency department provider before your discharge date.
- Make sure the emergency department staff gives you discharge paperwork before you leave.
- Ask the emergency department staff to share information about your visit with your PCP within 24 hours of your discharge.
- Bring your discharge paperwork to your first follow-up appointment.
- Follow your treatment plan and take medications as prescribed.
- Ask for help coordinating care between your behavioral health and primary care providers.