Psychiatry Access Line
NC-PAL’s Psychiatry Access Line is a free telephone consultation and education program helping health care providers address the behavioral health needs of pediatric and perinatal patients.
Our Behavioral Health Consultants (BHCs) respond to questions about behavioral health and local resources, and can connect providers to one of our on-call psychiatrists to assist with diagnostic clarification and medication management questions.
How It Works
- A provider has a question about pediatric or perinatal mental health.
- They call NC-PAL at (919) 681-2909 to get information:
- Press 1 to contact the NC-PAL Child Psychiatry team for questions about children and adolescents.
- Press 2 to contact the NC-PAL Perinatal Psychiatry team for questions about pregnant patients or patients up to one year postpartum. (Through collaboration with the Maternal Mental Health MATTERS program.)
- Our behavioral health consultants respond to questions within the scope of their expertise and can connect providers to one of our child and adolescent psychiatrists.
- Our board-certified child psychiatry team is on hand to assist with diagnostic clarification and medication management if necessary.
Our satisfaction surveys show that callers find NC-PAL services helpful and informative! Enrollment is the first step in being eligible for all the NC-PAL has to offer.
Primary care providers in North Carolina are invited to enroll in NC-PAL. This includes physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
Practice staff are welcome to call NC-PAL on behalf of primary care providers. Behavioral Health Consultants will work with practice staff to identify local mental health resources, but we request that consultations with a member of our psychiatry team be completed by the primary care provider.
The Consultation Process
A Behavioral Health Consultant will answer your phone call and determine your enrollment status.
You may enroll online or over the phone. Once your enrollment status is determined, the BHC will request information about your reason for calling and patient demographics.
- If you are calling to identify resources, the BHC can help you find local resources and determine the appropriate types of behavioral health services that will best suit your patient’s needs.
- If you are calling about medication management or diagnostic clarity, the BHC will page the NC-PAL mental health specialist on call. The NC-PAL specialist will call you back within 30 minutes or at a time that is convenient for you.
After Your Consultation
You will also receive a satisfaction survey via email. You are not required to complete the satisfaction survey, but this data benefits the program and ensures that we meet providers’ needs.
We put a telephone encounter note in the patient's medical record after each NC-PAL consultation. Once your consultation is complete, we will forward or fax you the NC-PAL note for your records. The note will be in the Duke or UNC Epic medical record system. If your patient hasn't been seen at Duke or UNC, we will create a medical record for them.
Direct Patient Contact
NC-PAL does not work directly with patients or their families. Calling NC-PAL does not establish a physician/patient relationship with an individual patient. NC-PAL will not bill you or your patients for telephone consultation. Providers who contact NC-PAL are responsible for providing direct care to their patients.
Families can benefit from NC-PAL when their primary care provider uses the program and can speak to their primary care provider about enrolling or contacting NC-PAL. More information is available on our For Families page.
Behavioral Health Providers
NC-PAL primarily focuses on serving primary care practices and their providers to address mental health in the primary care setting. Behavioral health providers may also call and enroll in NC-PAL for guidance with resource support.
NC-PAL offers a range of educational opportunities for providers and practices. We offer virtual training and didactic lectures on various behavioral health topics.