PIRC (Psychiatric Intake Response Center)



PIRC Phone Number:
205-638-PIRC (7472)

Navigating the mental health care system is challenging for patients, families, and providers. The Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC), located in the Emergency Department at Children’s of Alabama, is a confidential psychiatric response center designed to assist patients, their loved ones and/or caregivers, and community providers in finding the appropriate level of mental health care. These services are provided via telephone or in person by licensed mental health clinicians trained to assess a child or teen’s mental, emotional, and behavioral needs and recommend the best treatment options.

  • Any adult with a mental health question or concern regarding a child or adolescent is encouraged to contact the PIRC at 205-638-PIRC (7472)
  • PIRC is open seven days a week, year-round from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Anyone experiencing a crisis should call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.
  • Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should call the 24-hour, 7 day a week National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Medical Director, Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC):

Jesse Martinez Jr
Jesse Martinez Jr., MD
Director of Consultation-Liaison and Emergency Psychiatry
Assistant Professor

Our Location:

Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC)
Children's of Alabama Emergency Department
1601 5th Avenue South

Birmingham, Al 35233
205-638-PIRC (7472)

Our Hours of Operation:
8:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., 7 days a week 

Child and teen mental health information via telephone:

  • Access to a database of state agencies and services, linking patients and their loved ones to mental health services primarily in Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount, and Walker counties
  • Answer questions about mental health issues
  • Provide community resource information
  • Provide information about Emergency Room visits
  • Safety Planning for future crises
  • Follow up phone calls to confirm recommendations were followed

High-risk children and teens may need emergency services at the hospital:

  • First come, first serve based on treatment room availability and urgency
  • Assessment by Mental Health Team of Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, Fellows, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Social Workers, and/or Counselors to determine the appropriate level of care
  • Assessment of risk factors, i.e. imminent danger
  • Monitoring by staff in a safe environment
  • Coordination of admissions or transfers for inpatient hospitalization
  • Referral for outpatient services and resources, if inpatient not recommended
  • Safety Planning for future crises

PIRC does not provide:

  • Over-the-phone diagnoses or psychiatric evaluations
  • Over-the-phone scheduling or rescheduling of outpatient appointments
  • Home visits
  • Transportation
  • Prescriptions or refills

For a quick PIRC reference sheet in English and Español