Background: Few studies have investigated satisfaction with emergency departments (EDs) among patients with mental health (MH) issues. This study evaluated the use of and satisfaction with EDs and other MH services among 328 patients with MH disorders, as well as specific characteristics of patient satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

Methods: A mixed-methods study was conducted in four EDs located in different administrative healthcare regions of Quebec (Canada).

Results: Patients were highly satisfied with staff attitudes in EDs and other MH services (i.e., hospital in-patient services, outpatient services, community organizations). Major sources of dissatisfaction were the information received in EDs concerning community services and the physical environment or climate in EDs and other MH services.

Conclusion: Dissatisfaction with services may be reduced by extending hours of operation in MH services; promoting collaboration between psychiatrists, family physicians and other primary care providers; further integrating EDs with other healthcare services; and improving the characteristically austere and restrictive atmosphere in EDs.