Medicine:Psychiatric intensive-care unit
Psychiatric Intensive Care Units or PICUs are specialist twenty-four hour inpatient wards that provide intensive assessment and comprehensive treatment to individuals during the most acute phase of a serious mental illness.
Most individuals only stay on PICU wards for a very short time and are moved as soon as the crisis is over or the risky behaviours are under control. Commonly, patients are discharged to acute wards, but some patients go straight home—never requiring further input from mental health services.
PICUs have a diverse range of staff, including: mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, social workers, activities co-ordinators, health care support workers, and ward managers.
Patients will often have acute depression, a personality disorder, or schizophrenia. Some individuals present with suicidal thoughts or self-harm, some may be unpredictable in their behaviour, and some may be outwardly aggressive to others, to property, or to themselves.
National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units
The UK-based National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units and low secure units (NAPICU) is a multi professional organisation which aims to improve the practice within PICUs and low secure services, undertake research and audit and provide training and education. NAPICU has helped develop national guidance and worked with partner organisations to help develop standards for units to become accredited.
Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care
The Association publishes the Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care.
- "Psychiatric Intensive Care Units". https://www.elysiumhealthcare.co.uk/mental-wellbeing/our-services/picu.
- "Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit". https://huntercombe.com/support-and-advice/psychiatric-intensive-care-unit-picu.
- "Psychiatric Intensive Care Units". https://www.priorygroup.com/nhs/acute-hdu-picu/psychiatric-intensive-care-units-picus.
- "What are the roles in a multi-disciplinary team on Psychiatric Intensive Unit (PICU)?". https://napicu.org.uk/what-are-the-roles-in-a-multi-disciplinary-team-on-psychiatric-intensive-care-low-secure-units-picu.