Factors affecting compliance to referrals in the psychiatric emergency room (ER) were studied in a sample of 468 patients referred for ambulatory care. Compliance was defined as attendance at the first appointment. The overall compliance rate was 59%. Compliance rates were higher among those patients who were receiving psychiatric treatment (active) when they visited the ER. Those in treatment tended to have either Schizophrenic or Personality Disorders with fewer social supports. Different factors affected those in treatment and those not in treatment. The results suggest that those not in treatment would comply more frequently with specific instructions outlining the benefits of psychiatric follow-up.