Psychiatry Consultation Line (PCL) FAQs

​How do I access the PCL?
You can reach the PCL by calling 877-WA-PSYCH (877-927-7924) between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday (closed on federal and UW holidays). The line will be staffed 24/7 beginning July 1, 2020.
What is the Psychiatry Consultation Line (PCL)?
The PCL offers prescribers from primary care clinics, emergency rooms/departments, and municipal and county jails the opportunity to consult with a UW Psychiatrist about adult patients (18+) with mental health issues or regarding general questions related to mental health and psychiatric care. The service is explicitly to provide “curbside consultation,” but the UW psychiatrist will provide a brief, written summary of the recommendations and send to the calling provider.

What if my patient is under 18, or is pregnant?
Callers will ​be offered the option to transfer to the Partnership Access Line for child and adolescent psychiatry questions, or to the PAL for Moms line for perinatal psychiatry questions.

What can I expect when I call?
When you call 877-WA-PSYCH (877-927-7924), you will reach a UW health navigator for a short intake of information, including: the patient’s name, DOB, gender, city of residence, and Medicaid status. The navigator will then arrange a phone call between the calling provider and a UW psychiatrist. At the conclusion of the conversation, the UW psychiatrist will send the community provider written documentation of the recommendations via an email from

What is the average wait time to speak to a psychiatrist?
If you have never called the line before, the intake is primarily data collection and takes about 3-4 minutes to complete. If you have called the line before, the process will be quicker.

How much time do I have to talk with the psychiatrist?
Our average call time is about 15 minutes, but you will get as much consultation as you need.

Is there a limit on how many times I can call? 
There is no limit to how many times you can call the PCL. If you call more than once about the same patient, it is helpful for us to know when you called so we can refer to previous recommendations you may have been given.​
What should I have ready when I call?
You don't need to prepare anything in advance. The more history and information you have about the patient the better, but we will assist you using whatever information you have. For reporting purposes, it is helpful to know if the patient is on Medicaid and what city the patient lives in, but this is not required information.
What are common things providers call about?
The majority of calls are medication-related questions and help with differential diagnoses. 
Who is eligible to call?
Prescribing health care providers in Washington State from:
·         primary care clinicis
·         community hospitals and emergency departments
·         county and municipal correctional facilities

Why are you offering this service?
To support providers in the community who are taking care of patients experiencing mental health conditions, including substance use disorders, by providing convenient access to consultation.
What is the funding source for the PCL?
The PCL is funded by the state and administered through the Washington State Health Care Authority.
When are PCL psychiatrists available?
The consultation line (877-927-7924) is staffed 8 AM - 5 PM, Monday through Friday (closed on federal and UW holidays). It will be staffed 24/7 beginning July 1, 2020.
What if this is a crisis?
If your patient is suicidal, homicidal, or otherwise at imminent risk, you should call the suicide hotline (800-273-8255), call 911, or refer the patient to an emergency room. The PCL is not a crisis or suicide hotline, is not a substitute for an emergency room, and cannot coordinate ER visits, psychiatric hospitalization or law enforcement intervention.
Can I call after hours and leave a message?
Yes. You may leave a confidential message after hours and the Patient Navigator will get back to you within one business day.
How is this different from MedCon?
Medcon connects clinicians to specialty expertise in all clinical areas (not just psychiatry) at UW for educational and general informational purposes. Since no physician-patient relationship is established, the information provided should be viewed as education regarding a given medical condition. It does not constitute a formal medical consult or provision of medical services to a specific patient. The calling provider is responsible for the medical management and care of the individual patient. MedCon can also clarify whether your patient needs a referral, and operators will connect you with the appropriate UW School of Medicine faculty physician for a consult or to refer an elective patient to any UW Medicine entity.
To access MedCon: call 800.326.5300 (toll-free), or 206.520.9700, 24 hours a day, email Medcon (
PCL psychiatrists are currently are unable to:
·         Satisfy Single Bed Certification requirements
·         Find follow-up care, resources or assist with discharge planning
·         Provide a review of written records
·         Directly communicate with a patient or assume care of the patient​ (this capability may occur in the future)