New Behavioral Health Center Accepting Patient Referrals

Q&A with Shelley A. Holmer, MD

Behavioral Health Center North Durham
Behavioral Health Center North Durham

The new Duke Behavioral Health Center North Durham is open and accepting patient referrals from providers around the Southeast region. Behavioral health services that were previously offered separately at Duke hospitals have been combined and expanded in one location at Duke Regional Hospital.

Behavioral health services at the new center include:

  • Inpatient
  • Outpatient
  • Emergency
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

In this Q&A, Shelley A. Holmer, MD, Duke Behavioral Health Clinical Service Unit Director, explains how the new center meets a critical population health need in the region, the unique benefits to patients, and how providers can best refer their patients for assessment and treatment.

Refer a Patient

To refer a patient, call our dedicated appointment hub at 919-684-0100.

Q: Why did Duke create this new Behavioral Health Center?

Our volumes of patients seeking behavioral health care have increased dramatically—we are currently treating more than 60,000 patients annually at Duke Regional Hospital. Through this expansion we are increasing access to exceptional integrated behavioral health care and reaching more people in our communities. Another main reason we created the center was to co-locate several services. For example, there are times when a patient is being seen in an outpatient clinic and needs to be admitted to the hospital—having those services in the same building makes that process more seamless and convenient for patients.

Q: What conditions are treated at the center?

Our team of psychiatrists, psychiatric advanced practice providers, clinical social workers, recreational therapists, and other specialists provide advanced therapies for severe depression; anxiety disorders; bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; and other psychiatric and emotional issues. We have also expanded our ED capacity to better address behavioral health emergencies, with 16 private treatment rooms and additional secure, therapeutic areas to improve the patient experience.

Take a Virtual Tour

The Behavioral Health Center North Durham features a team of resident psychiatrists supervised by attending doctors, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and clinical social workers who work with patients to address a wide range of psychiatric and emotional challenges.

Q: What should providers know about referring their patients?

Inpatient referrals (adults 18 and over only)
The majority of our inpatient referrals come from our three Duke hospitals or from community hospital EDs. If a provider believes a patient needs to be admitted to an inpatient unit, the provider should first send the patient directly to any hospital ED. Our Behavioral Health Center team will then determine whether the patient should be admitted to an inpatient unit.

Outpatient referrals (adults 18 and over only)
Patients can either self-refer or providers can refer their patients for outpatient services by calling our dedicated appointment hub: 919-684-0100. Our experienced behavioral health specialists will ask a series of questions to help determine the services required and outline next steps with patients and providers. Providers will be given a fax number to send patient information for review.

Emergency referrals (adults and children)
Any time a provider believes a patient is having a behavioral health crisis or presents a safety concern they should direct the patient to the nearest ED or contact local law enforcement for transport. We work as one large team to provide emergency behavioral health services at all three Duke hospitals but because the new center has more space to care for behavioral health patients, we prefer patients come to the Duke Regional Hospital ED if they are coming voluntarily.

ECT clinic referrals (adults 18 and over only)
We take ECT referrals only from behavioral health providers (patients cannot self-refer) and we provide outpatient consulting services rather than long-term psychiatric care. If you are referring a patient for electroconvulsive therapy, please fax this form, along with medical records to 919-668-2595. We will schedule a consultation with the appropriate specialist for discussing ECT services.

To refer a patient, call 919-684-0100.