Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison service, Dallas and Legacy Campus

The services of this team are restricted to patients from other medical services at Children's Medical Center – no external referrals are accepted.

Our goals are to minimize stressful experiences, promote healthy coping and help patients and their families return to their prior state of emotional wellbeing. The psychiatry consult team consists of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, a consult liaison nurse as well as clinical therapists. Emergency evaluation is provided for patients who present with psychiatric needs to the emergency department. Clinicians will coordinate admissions to the outpatient specialty clinics, intensive outpatient program, day treatment programs, and the inpatient psychiatry program, including community referrals to outside sources.

  • Your medical doctor may recommend that your child be seen by someone from the psychiatry consultation liaison service. If so, we recommend that children and adolescents receive a brief explanation from their parents and members of the referring medical team prior to the consultation. A non-threatening statement such as, "Your doctors and I have noticed that things have been a lot harder than usual for you during this hospital stay. We are going to have someone meet with us to talk about different things that might be making it more difficult to be here and see what we can figure out to help you."
  • A member of the psychiatry consult team completing the consultation will provide guidance regarding how the consult will proceed. It is typically helpful for the clinician to meet with the patient and family together, and then meet individually with the child and the family. Parents may wish to let their children know that coping with hospitalization can difficult by saying something like, "Being in the hospital can be tough and sometimes it helps to have someone you can talk to who can help."

For children who see a psychiatry clinician during their hospital stay, insurance will be billed. 

Diagnostic evaluation

Most children who receive a psychiatry consult receive an evaluation by a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed professional counselor or consult liaison nurse. 

  • The initial evaluation usually takes about two hours.
  • The purpose of this evaluation is to determine the child's diagnosis and make recommendations regarding appropriate services during the hospital stay as well as in the community. 
  • Many different disciplines are part of the consultation liaison service, and some children benefit from working with more than one member of our service during their hospital stay.

Follow-up appointments

  • After completing an interview with a child, the clinician may make recommendations for follow-up treatment during the hospitalization or following discharge in the community. 
  • Clinicians work closely with the family to ensure that all recommendations meet the child and family's needs and are manageable for the family to carry out. 
  • It is important that families contact the consult service if referrals or recommendations do not work out. Follow up and follow through after a patient is released from the hospital are critical components to the success and continued health and well being of children and adolescents.