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Behavioural Neurosciences and Consultation Liaison Team (BNCL)

Behavioural Neurosciences and Consultation Liaison (BNCL) provides mental health consultation, neuropsychological assessment, recommendations and short-term interventions for inpatients and outpatients who have both medical and mental health issues which impact their adjustment, treatment or recovery. BNCL team members have backbrounds in psychiatry, psychology, and nursing.

Who We See
What We Do
Waiting for Treatment
What To Do If Your Child Is Referred To The Clinic
Contact Us

Who We See

Children and youth up to 18 years  of age with both medical and mental health issues that impact their adjustment and medical management can be referred to the BNCL Team. Typical referrals to the BNCL team include difficulty coping with chronic or acute medical conditions, non-compliance to treatment, active or stable medical/surgical disorder associated with CNS dysfunction, pain management, tic and movement disorders. Referrals also include dealing with trauma such as burns or a car accident, intellectual disabilities (below second percentile) with associated mental health conditions, feeding and elimination problems, procedural anxiety, medication consultation, diagnosis of psychiatric conditions and medical conditions with psychological factors.

To be seen by the Behavioural Neurosciences and Consultation Liaison Team, we require a referral from a physician such as your child’s family doctor or paediatrician, or the CHEO physician following your child. Community physicians must complete the Mental Health Intake Form and send or fax this to the Mental Health Intake Office.

All referral requests should include a specific consultation question to be addressed as well as relevant background information. The primary health care professional involved in the case should be clearly indicated on the referral. If the child or youth is admitted under one of the medical inpatient teams, the name of the physician who has ongoing involvement with the child should also be clearly indicated.

The referral should be addressed to the Behavioural Neurosciences and Consultation Liaison Team and not to a particular discipline or individual.

The BNCL team holds regular meetings to triage referrals and discuss cases. Any healthcare professional is welcome to attend these meetings to discuss a case and to determine if the involvement of our team would be beneficial.

If the child or youth is already being seen by a service agency, or mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, that service or professional will need to be made aware of the referral.

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What We Do

The nature of services that your child receives will depend on the specific referral question and our assessment of your child’s needs. The range of services provided by the BNCL Team includes mental health consultation, consultation with regard to medication, psychological and neuropsychological assessment, and time-limited interventions for children and youth and their parents. Often BNCL health professionals will consult and collaborate, and make recommendations to the other health care professionals working with your child. Following a consultation or assessment, the health care provider may make recommendations about which community services, books and online resources would be most helpful. If the child is seen by a BNCL psychiatrist, he or she may also make recommendations about medications to the children doctor.

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Waiting for Treatment

The BNCL Team sees children and youth as outpatients. We also provide inpatient consultations for children and youth who are hospitalized for medical concerns. Inpatient consultations are generally responded to by a member of the BNCL Team within 24 to 48 hours. Following the consultation, the BNCL professional will make recommendations about follow-up mental health services, if these are required.

Due to the heavy demand for our service, there is typically a waiting time for BNCL outpatient services. During this waiting period, if there is any change in your child’s situation please contact the physician who referred your child to our service.

While waiting for mental health services it can be helpful for parents and caregivers to increase their knowledge of mental health conditions that may be related to their child’s concerns. Families can also benefit from seeking out mental health resources available to them in their community.

A great way to learn more about mental health is to go to eMentalHealth.ca
. It is a publicly funded website that provides families with free information, professional-recommended websites, videos and readings about mental health conditions (click on the ‘Library’ tab). This website also provides listings of local services in your community (click on the ‘Find Help’ tab). The CHEO Family Resources Library also has excellent information about both physical and mental health conditions.

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What To Do If Your Child Is Referred To The Clinic

How To Make the Most Out of Your Consultation

It is important that your physician discuss the reasons for the referral with you and your child at the time that the referral is made. This provides you and your child with an understanding of the reasons why a physician feels a referral is necessary and ensures that you and your child are in agreement in the referral. Please discuss and clarify any questions or concerns that you have about the referral with your physician or other health care professionals involved in your child’s care. 

For your initial BNCL appointment, bring any previous assessments with mental health professionals such as psychological, psychiatric, psychoeducational, occupational therapy and learning or speech-language assessments.

  • Please make a list of any previous treatments or interventions tried, along with approximate dates
  • If your youth is on any medication, please make a list of those as well

We will meet for at least one visit, though in some cases you will be offered more appointments. During the initial visit we will discuss the problems and concerns that bring you to our clinic, and set goals for outcomes of the consultation. When we have enough information, we will talk about how to best address concerns.

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Contact Us

Please note: CHEO's Centralized Intake Office provides a single point of entry. A child or youth's family physician or pediatrician needs to call Central Intake to refer patients.

How to Get Here

All BNCL providers are located at CHEO on the 6th floor of the main hospital building – Clinic C14 on 6 West. Prior to all appointments patients need to check in with the receptionist in the 6 West waiting area

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