A full-time psychiatrist, a part-time psychiatrist consultant, and several nurse practitioners provide psychiatric services at the Wellness Center. These are skilled and experienced clinicians who evaluate students for psychiatric medications, assess the relationship between physical and mental health, and prescribe and monitor psychiatric medications for students receiving other mental health services at the Wellness Center.
It is very common for students in counseling to be referred to a psychiatrist. Many common psychological concerns, including depression and anxiety, have known biological components. Early intervention, often combining counseling and medication, has been shown to enhance the chances of full recovery.
You can begin the process of getting connected to a psychiatrist by scheduling an initial mental health appointment. [hyperlink “initial mental health appointment” to the Getting Started page?] Psychiatry appointments typically vary from 30 to 60 minutes. Your provider will ask questions about your family, your general development, and your feelings and overall functioning. If needed, your psychiatrist might ask your permission to get laboratory tests or past treatment records to inform any care recommendations. At the end of the appointment, we will discuss treatment options; follow-up visits may or may not be recommended. In general, Wellness Center psychiatry services provide care for students also receiving counseling at the Wellness Center. For this and a variety of reasons, you may be referred to a psychiatric provider in the community.
You may be referred by your social worker or psychologist to a member of our psychiatric team because medical factors are suspected of contributing to your problem, and you therefore may benefit from medications that a counselor is not trained or licensed to provide.
At the Wellness Center, medication is almost never the sole form of treatment. Psychotropic medication may help reduce the intensity of physical symptoms to a degree that allows you to work with your counselor in therapy to address the underlying issues. Typically, participation in group or individual counseling is expected in order to receive ongoing medication management. As resources allow, a Wellness Center psychiatric provider might collaborate with your community counselor. If you are prescribed medication, to obtain the best treatment outcome, it is important to remain in contact with your provider and to do so before stopping or starting medication. Please be aware that medication treatment for ADHD will be referred for care with community providers.
If a medication is recommended, it is in your hands to decide whether or not to take this form of treatment. However, we encourage you to be open with your psychiatry provider about any concerns you may have; declining medication may interfere with your ability to get better.