Acute psychiatry is psychiatric intervention that typically occurs on an emergency basis. Patients who seek care from an acute psychiatry unit are usually suffering from sudden and severe psychiatric symptoms. Acute psychiatry usually seeks to ease patients' immediate symptoms and produce a treatment plan, whether the patient is released to return to their homes or committed into a long-term care facility for psychiatric illnesses.
Most psychiatric professionals believe that any sudden, extreme change in behavior may be grounds for emergency psychiatric intervention. These can include hallucinations, extreme feelings of anxiety, paranoia or depression, Patients who are suicidal, violent, or aggressive also need acute psychiatric care.