PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCY SCREENING SERVICES (PESS)
Crisis Hotline: (908) 526-4100 (Available 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week)
Robert Wood Johnson
University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
The Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services program (PESS) provides
crisis intervention services for residents, including screening for
voluntary and involuntary hospitalization, mobile outreach, linkage to
appropriate community resources, information and referrals. Counseling,
emergency psychiatric evaluations and consultation services also are
The hotline (908-526-4100), answered by Crisis Intervention Specialists
or Certified Screeners, is used to de-escalate a crisis situation that
demands immediate intervention.
The goal is to relieve a patientís distress and prevent psychiatric
hospitalization through the use of clinical assessment, crisis
intervention counseling, and the formulation of alternative treatment
If the nature of the call indicates that a face-to-face session with a
Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services clinician is appropriate,
arrangements will be made for the caller to visit PESS or a mobile
outreach team at an alternate location.
Single Point of Entry
Access to the program is through the Emergency Department, located at
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, where individuals will be seen by a triage nurse
and medically cleared by the ECC physician before being evaluated by a
This single point of entry establishes a coordinated system of care for
screening, treatment and aftercare of patients with acute mental health
problems. It also maintains a system of care that is in compliance with
Federal, State and local laws.
Individuals may come to PESS on their own and without an appointment.
Referrals are provided by relatives, mental health or social services
agencies, nursing facilities and police/court/jail personnel.
PESS screeners advocate for services to meet patient needs and encourage
the system to respond quickly. Clinicians utilize the patientís natural
support system and offer treatment in the least restrictive setting, as
close to the individualís home as possible.
Mobile outreach is provided to individuals that are unwilling or unable
to come to the screening center, persons who need involuntary commitment,
and those who may be mentally ill or potentially dangerous.
Whenever possible, mobile outreach is expanded to include other crisis
and emergency situations. Linkage to community resources includes
appropriate mental health programs and social service agencies.
The Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services program also coordinates
access to the publicly affiliated acute care psychiatric resources
serving Somerset County residents.
Business Office Location:
27 Warren Street, Somerville NJ 08876
Phone: (908) 704-6302
FAX: (908) 526-0536