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Psychiatric Services

Brief Overview of University Counseling Center Psychiatric Services

  • Only currently enrolled TAMUCC students who have paid the Student Service Fee and are current University Counseling Center (UCC) clients are eligible for psychiatric services.   Students may see the psychiatrist only via referral from a UCC therapist who they are meeting with on a regular basis for on-going therapy.  If a student is in therapy with an off-campus counseling provider or is not interested in on-going therapy, the UCC cannot provide psychiatric care but can assist with a referral to a community provider for medication evaluation/management.  
  • The initial psychiatric intake appointment fee for all students is $40.  Follow-up appointments are $20.  There is a $50 fee for missed appointments and for appointments cancelled less than 24 hours in advance.  
  • Time Limited Services. Students who are eligible for psychiatry services will meet with the psychiatrist for evaluation and initial treatment for stabilization purposes and to improve psychiatric symptoms typically over a 3-6 month period.    If further treatment is needed, students will be referred to an off-campus psychiatrist for ongoing, long term care.  
  • Psychiatric services are by appointment only and are available one day per week during long semesters and one-half day during summer sessions.  The UCC psychiatrist does not provide on-call psychiatric coverage during weekends, evenings, or when the campus is closed.
  • Once the psychiatrist’s schedule is full, eligible students will be placed on a waitlist or referred to a community provider.     
  • Due to the prevalence of misuse and abuse of stimulant medication on college campuses, the UCC will not provide evaluations for ADHD and the UCC psychiatrist will not prescribe stimulant medication for students seeking treatment for ADHD. Students seeking evaluation and/or medication for ADHD should check with their health insurance carrier.   A list of off-campus providers is available. 
  • The UCC psychiatrist CANNOT provide refills on medications prescribed by another provider. If you are already taking psychotropic medication prescribed by another psychiatrist or physician either in your hometown or off-campus, it is strongly recommended you continue to see this provider for refills since UCC psychiatric services are time limited.  

 

Information about University Counseling Center Psychiatric Services

 

Psychiatric Services at the University Counseling Center (UCC) are limited and short term.   Clients desiring a psychiatric evaluation must be referred by their UCC therapist.  Therefore, only students engaged in concurrent counseling at the UCC are eligible to seek services from this psychiatrist. Students not engaged in counseling at the UCC will be referred to a psychiatrist in the community.  Due to the current prevalence of misuse and abuse of stimulant medication on college campuses, the Counseling Center psychiatrist will not prescribe stimulant medication for students seeking treatment for ADHD.  

 

The UCC psychiatrist is in the office one day per week while classes are in session during the fall and spring semesters and one half day per week during the summer sessions.  Psychiatric services are by appointment only.   We do not have immediate access to our psychiatrist during the other days of the week since the psychiatrist is only contracted to work one day per week.   We do not provide on-call psychiatric coverage during weekends, evenings, or when campus is closed.  Students who are eligible for psychiatry services will meet with the psychiatrist for evaluation and initial treatment for stabilization to improve psychiatric symptoms over a 3-6 month period.   If further treatment is needed, students will be referred to an off-campus psychiatrist for ongoing, long term care.  The initial 60 minute intake appointment with the psychiatrist is $40 and follow-up 30 minute visits with the psychiatrist are $20.  There is a $50 fee for missed appointment and late cancellations.    This fee is necessary due to high cost of contracting for psychiatric services.  

 

 

 

 

Eligibility for Psychiatry Services

 

Only current UCC clients are eligible for psychiatric services.  

Students may see the Counseling Center psychiatrist only via a referral from a UCC therapist.   Because of the high demand for services, eligibility for psychiatric services is limited to those students already in an established, ongoing therapeutic relationship with a Counseling Center therapist.   If you are a current client at the Counseling Center, your therapist will evaluate your treatment needs and may refer you the staff psychiatrist if a medication evaluation would be beneficial.   Best practices for mental health issues indicate that counseling and medication together yield a better outcome that medication alone.   As a condition of seeing the UCC psychiatrist, students are expected to see a Counseling Center therapist on a regular and consistent basis, at least monthly.  The specific frequency of your counseling sessions will be determined and agreed to by you and your therapist.

 

Students Currently Receiving Treatment from a Community Mental Health Provider.  

If you are in therapy with an off-campus counseling provider, we cannot provide you with psychiatric care.  We encourage you to speak with your therapist about a community psychiatrist referral or you can schedule an appointment with the UCC Case Manager, Ana Salazar, for assistance with a community psychiatrist referral.  

 

Students Currently Taking Psychotropic Medication prescribed by a community provider. 

If you are already taking psychotropic medication prescribed by a psychiatrist or other physician located in your hometown or off-campus, it is strongly recommended that you continue to see this provider for refills since UCC psychiatry services are time limited.    The UCC psychiatrist CANNOT provide refills on medications prescribed by another practitioner.   

 

Students Only Wanting Medication Who Aren’t Interested in Therapy.  

If you are not interested in therapy but would like to be connected to a local psychiatrist, you can schedule an appointment with the UCC Case Manager, Ana Salazar, for assistance with a community psychiatrist referral.  

 

 

Medication and Treatment for AD/HD

Due to the current prevalence of misuse and abuse of stimulant medication on college campuses, the Counseling Center psychiatrist will not prescribe stimulant medication for students seeking treatment for AD/HD.  Students with a current diagnosis of AD/HD should make arrangements to continue to be seen for follow-up visits and prescription refills from their home provider.  Students who are unsure if they have AD/HD and who have never had any evaluation will be referred by UCC clinicians to an off-campus mental health provider for a diagnostic/medication evaluation.   ADHD is a neuropsychiatric disorder with symptoms and impairment that begin in childhood and affects 3-5% of children. Making an accurate diagnosis of ADHD is complicated and time consuming. A formal evaluation for ADHD includes a comprehensive clinical interview and a full neuropsychological assessment battery and may take from 4-8 hours and is usually performed by a Ph.D. level licensed psychologist or a master’s level licensed psychology associate. Many insurance companies do not cover the cost of ADHD evaluation. Check with your health insurance provider about cost and coverage.    

 

Most attention difficulties in college are due to disorders or problems other than ADHD. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, sleep deprivation, and substance abuse can all cause attention problems and UCC therapists can assess for these conditions and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Anonymous on-line mental health screenings are also available on the UCC website.  The UCC also provides on-line resources and academic success counseling sessions for students who have problems with study skills, time management, organization and procrastination which can be barriers to academic success.     Please refer to the Academic Success Skills page on the UCC website.

 

 

How to Initiate Counseling & Psychiatric Services

If you are not currently in counseling with a community therapist and would like to see the Counseling Center psychiatrist, please call or visit our office Monday through Friday during walk-in hours from 9:00-11:30am and 1:00-4:00 pm. You will have a brief (15-20 minute) consultation with the Counselor-on-Duty which will focus on assessing your current needs and devising a plan for addressing these needs.   Since the Counseling Center utilizes a brief therapy model (with a maximum of 15 sessions per academic year), students who need intensive weekly counseling or long-term treatment are not a good fit for our services.  The Counselor-on-Duty will assist you with either scheduling an initial 50 minute intake counseling appointment or may refer you to campus or community resources if your needs are outside of the scope of UCC services. Typically, intake appointments are scheduled within 1-2 weeks after meeting with the Counselor-on-Duty. The intake therapist will gather information about your history and symptoms and will determine if you are a good candidate for medication evaluation with the psychiatrist and will schedule you accordingly.  The average wait time for an initial psychiatry appointment will vary depending on the time in the semester but typically will be approximately 3-6 weeks after the counseling intake appointment if psychiatry appointments are available.    If no psychiatry appointments are available, you will be placed on a waitlist and/or offered a list of community psychiatric referrals.  

 

Information for Students Meeting with the UCC Psychiatrist

 

What To Expect During Your First Psychiatric Appointment.  Generally, your first appointment with the psychiatrist is scheduled for 60 minutes, but it may not last the entire time.  When you meet with the psychiatrist, (s)he will ask questions about your background, family, habits, current and past medications, treatment history and general health and will ask why you think you need treatment. The psychiatrist will want to know about your most recent complete physical examination, and may ask to see your medical records.  Please prepare for this appointment and bring a list of all past psychotropic medications, all current medications and all current medical conditions.    The initial psychiatric intake appointment fee for all students is $40. 

 

Follow-Up Visits and Maintaining Eligibility For Services.   Follow-up visits with the psychiatrist will generally last about 30 minutes.  The follow-up appointment fee is $20.  The psychiatrist will assess the progress of your treatment and answer any questions you may have.  Students who are eligible for psychiatry services will meet with the psychiatrist for evaluation and initial treatment for stabilization to improve psychiatric symptoms over a 3-6 month period.   If further treatment is needed, students will be referred to an off-campus psychiatrist for ongoing, long term care.  Students must be meeting regularly with their assigned therapist and keeping all scheduled appointments in order to be in compliance with the psychiatric policy.  When a student fails to keep their scheduled counseling appointment, they are not in compliance with the psychiatric policy and will not be able to meet with the psychiatrist for future appointments or receive additional refills until they have met with the assigned therapist and paid fees for missed appointments.  Repeated missed appointments or late cancellations will result in termination of UCC counseling and psychiatric services.   

 

Psychiatric Services Agreement & Client Responsibilities for Current UCC Psychiatric Clients  

 

  • Fees. The initial psychiatric intake appointment fee for all students is $40. Follow-up appointments are $20.  
  • Confirmation of appointments is required. You are responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments with the psychiatrist. The UCC will send you a text reminder prior to your appointment as a courtesy.  If you opt out of the text reminder feature or have problems receiving the text, please let the front office staff know. 
  • Be on time. You must be on time for your appointments with the psychiatrist. Arriving more than fifteen minutes late for an appointment will result in your appointment being cancelled and you will be charged a $50 missed appointment fee which will be automatically billed to your Sanddollar account. 
  • Missed appointments and late cancellations. If you do not keep scheduled appointment or cancel less than 24 hours in advance, you will be charged a $50 no show fee which will automatically be billed to your Sanddollar account. .   These fees are necessary due to high cost of contracting for psychiatric services and will be strictly enforced.   You will not be able to schedule another appointment with the psychiatrist until you have paid the no show fee and met with the UCC Case Manager to review a plan to prevent future missed appointments.   Missing more than one psychiatry appointment may result in your access to psychiatry services being temporarily suspended or terminated.
  • Payment. We do not accept or process payments at the University Counseling Center - all fees are billed to your Sanddollar account. We do not accept or process insurance payments, however, you may request a billing statement.
  • Medication side effects or questions. If you are having problems with or questions about the medication prescribed by the psychiatrist, please read your medication handouts, call your pharmacist, or call the UCC to speak with the Counselor on Duty or your primary counselor during business hours and (s)he will then consult with the psychiatrist as needed.
  • Prescription refills. The psychiatrist is only at the UCC on Wednesdays when classes are in session and will only write refills on Wednesdays. If you need a prescription refill, it is your responsibility to contact our office by Tuesday at 4pm at the latest to request a prescription refill.  Prescription refills will be available to pick-up after 8am on Thursdays during regular business hours. It is your responsibility to keep track of how much medication you have left and submit a prescription refill request before you run out of your medication and/or in advance of any holidays when the university may be closed.  
•Counseling attendance required. This agreement stipulates that all students who are seeing the psychiatrist must also be actively engaged in on-going treatment with a UCC counselor and be compliant with the treatment plan. Failure to meet with the primary counselor on a regular basis and/or a pattern of not keeping scheduled counseling appointments may result in your access to psychiatry services being temporarily suspended and/or terminated.  Students who have not been compliant with the UCC Psychiatric Services agreement will be required to meet with the UCC Clinical Director.  The Clinical Director will then consult with psychiatrist and they will make a decision about whether it is appropriate for you to continue to receive psychiatric services through the UCC.  When necessary, a referral to another agency or community psychiatrist will be provided.