In this overview we discuss the role of psychiatry in managing delirium in acute hospital admissions. We briefly discuss the role psychiatry can offer in four main domains: (a) assessment; (b) management; (c) recovery; and (d) paradigm, education and research. In the assessment section we discuss accurately detecting delirium in the context of comorbid mixed neuropsychiatric syndromes, including depression and dementia, and the clinical importance of delirium subtyping. The management section briefly outlines pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to delirium and their evidence-based rationale. The recovery section focuses on the effect delirium can have on cognitive decline, mental health and long-term health, including functional outcome and need for institutional care after hospital discharge. Finally, we outline the role of psychiatry in delirium research and education. We hope that this article will encourage clinicians to reflect on their current practice and consider holistic and evidence-based care for this vulnerable population in the acute hospital setting.