Psychiatry Emergency Service

The UNC Psychiatry Emergency Service is a consultation service, providing psychiatric evaluation and emergency psychiatric management in the UNC ED. When consult is requested by Emergency Medicine providers, the unit service will evaluate psychiatric and substance abuse emergencies in the  UNC Hospitals Emergency Department. The evaluation provided is an emergency assessment, primarily assessing the need for emergency treatment and/or psychiatric hospitalization. (Court ordered evaluations and “second opinions” are not available in the ED.)

The UNC Emergency Department is located in the basement of the Neurosciences Hospital, and is open 24 hours a day. 

The primary goal of the Psychiatry Emergency Service is to provide high quality emergency psychiatric evaluation and disposition to the citizens of North Carolina in a compassionate, attentive, and clinically prudent manner. Patients treated by the Emergency Service include adults, adolescents, and children who present voluntarily or on petition for commitment. The Psychiatric Emergency Service also provides consultation to patients being treated in the UNC Emergency Department and to patients referred by other UNC outpatient clinics. 

It is the policy of the Emergency Service to evaluate any patient for whom the Emergency Department requests consultation. It is against our policy to discriminate against evaluation based on race, age, sex, religion, ethnicity, other personal characteristics or any combination of the above. 


The Psychiatry Emergency Service is staffed by a multidisciplinary team which includes psychiatrists, psychiatry residents, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.