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Medication and Psychiatric Services

Psychiatric Services

As with other services on campus, the counseling center's resources and staff may very from year to year (and sometimes from semester to semester).  While on-campus psychiatry is a service that the counseling center values highly, the Counseling Center does not have a psychiatrist at this time.

At this time, we encourage you to transfer your care to your primary care physician or another provider who can help you responsibly manage your medication prescriptions. We can provide you a list of prescribers local to the Dartmouth area whom you may contact to continue your care, depending on their availability and whether they accept your insurance plan. Alternatively, you may choose another prescriber that is more convenient and best meets your needs.

If you have been receiving medication services through the Counseling Center (in previous semesters) your confidential medical records can be transferred to another prescriber or released to you or another person you designate only through your written permission. Please contact us to complete an authorization form at your earliest convenience.



What is usually involved with a psychiatric evaluation?

An evaluation with a psychiatrist focuses on why you were referred. The evaluation takes about an hour and involves being asked a series of questions designed to get to know you, your history, and the symptoms that you are currently experiencing. After completing the evaluation, the psychiatrist will discuss treatment recommendations and determine if your needs are within the scope of their services. If your needs are beyond the scope of their services, you will be referred to appropriate community-based services.

Will my medications be monitored by a psychiatrist?

If medication has been prescribed, a psychiatrist will usually want you to schedule periodic follow-up appointments to assess the effectiveness of the medication.  The specifics and frequency of visits may depend on things such as which medication you are on, the psychiatrist, and other factors.

What if I am currently seeing a mental health provider outside of the Counseling Center?

In most cases, it is a better idea to continue your relationship with your current prescribing medical provider, who already has a treatment relationship with you and will be available year round. If you do need a transfer of care to a different psychiatrist because you do not have the ability stay in contact with the physician who currently prescribes your medication during the school year, you are strongly encouraged to begin the transfer process as early in the semester as possible, and discuss this directly with your prescribing medical provider.

Will I need to be seen by a counselor while I am being treated by the psychiatrist?

Although some people do well with medication alone, many people benefit from a combination of counseling (group and/or individual) and medication. Your psychiatrist may recommend that you work with a counselor in conjunction with medication treatment.  The counseling center would be happy to work with community psychiatrists (or other prescribing medical providers) to coordinate your counseling and psychiatric care. 

Please bring this up with your counselor and/or psychiatrist, and you will be guided through the easy steps you can take to facilitate communication between your therapist and prescriber.

What can I do if I run out of medication before my initial evaluation or next appointment?

If you have been followed by the Center's psychiatrist in the past and are at risk of running out of your medication prior to your next appointment, please contact your local primary care physician to begin the process of finding a new prescriber as soon as possible. Please visit the Community Resources page to see a list of local prescribers. The Counseling Center staff is always willing to help you navigate this process.

Why are students referred to off-campus providers for psychiatric care?

We recognize that it is both convenient and desirable for students to have access to psychiatric services on-campus. 

However, resources and staffing at the Counseling Center vary from year-to-year, such that some years we are able to provide psychiatric services and other years we are not.  The Counseling Center does not currently have a psychiatrist on staff, though this page will be updated in the future if and when this changes.

When a student has an urgent or serious condition that may benefit from a medication evaluation, we will help the student obtain appropriate treatment, which may include a referral to community-based providers or hospitals.

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