The Psychiatric Assistance Line. One solution to the child and adolescent mental health crisis

Minn Med. 2015 Mar;98(3):42-4.


Having timely access to mental health care is critical for children with psychiatric disorders. Because there is an extreme shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists in the United States, initial assessment and treatment of children with psychiatric disorders often occurs in the primary care setting. To increase the likelihood of positive health outcomes for these children, primary care physicians need to be better equipped to meet their mental health needs. One way is to offer them easier access to child and adolescent psychiatrists. The Psychiatric Assistance Line (PAL) is a service that does that. It allows primary care physicians and other clinicians immediate access to child and adolescent psychiatrists so they can either treat the patient in the primary care setting or refer the child to an appropriate specialist. This article describes the service and the extent to which it has been used since its inception in June of 2014.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Psychiatry*
  • Child
  • Child Psychiatry*
  • Crisis Intervention*
  • Emergency Services, Psychiatric*
  • Hotlines*
  • Humans
  • Minnesota
  • Primary Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation