Due to limitations in staffing, the counseling center will not be able to meet the needs of all students in need of psychiatric medication management.
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. Alternatievly, you may choose another prescriber that is more convenient and best meets your needs.
If you are unable to get your psychiatric prescription needs met off campus due to insurmountable transportation issues, financial issues, or another similar situation, you may discuss the situation with a therapist at the counseling center to determine whether a referral to psychiatry services at the counseling center is an appropriate option.
If you have been receiving medication services through the Counseling Center 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 convience.
The Counseling Center's consulting psychiatrist offers the following services during the fall and spring semesters:
- Psychiatric evaluations
- Prescribing of medications and medication management
- Coordination of care with other professionals
How do I set up an appointment with the psychiatrist?
The first step in the process of setting up an appointment with the Center's psychiatrist is to drop by or call the Center at 508.999.8648 or 8650 to schedule an initial consultation with one of the Center's counselors. The counselor will talk with you about your current concerns and a number of treatment options that might be helpful to you, including the possibility of a referral to our psychiatrist for a medication consultation.
What is involved with a psychiatric evaluation?
An evaluation with the 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 our services. If your needs are beyond the scope of our services, you will be referred to appropriate community-based services.
Will my medications be monitored by the Center's psychiatrist?
If medication has been prescribed, the psychiatrist will want you to schedule periodic follow-up appointments to assess the effectiveness of the medication.
Are there any fees associated with seeing the Center's psychiatrist?
Students' healthcare insurance companies will be billed for appointments with the Center's psychiatrist. Any copayment for the appointment will be waived. If your medical insurance is through an HMO, you will need to call your primary care physician (PCP) and request that a referral letter be faxed to the UMass Dartmouth Counseling Center at 508.999.9192 prior to your appointment, if possible. Is there a charge if I miss my appointment with the psychiatrist? When students fail to keep a psychiatric appointment and do not provide the Center with 24-hour prior notice, there is a $25 charge for the missed appointment. The $25 charge must be paid at the Counseling Center prior to rescheduling the appointment with the psychiatrist.
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 because you do not have the ability stay in contact with the physician who currently prescribes your medication, you are strongly encouraged to begin the transfer process as early in the semester as possible.
Will I need to be seen by a Counseling Center 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. The Center's psychiatrist may recommend that you work with a counselor in conjunction with medication treatment.
What can I do if I run out of medication before my initial evaluation or next appointment?
If you are at risk of running out of your medication before your scheduled initial psychiatric appointment, call your former physician to ask for a prescription (preferably a 4 week supply) to be phoned in to a local pharmacy. Your physician is familiar with your needs and is in the best position to supply you with medication during this interim period.
If you are already being followed by the Center's psychiatrist and are at risk of running out of your medication prior to your next appointment, call your Counseling Center counselor to discuss how to obtain a temporary refill.
Why are some students referred to off-campus providers for psychiatric care?
The Counseling Center provides mental health services to all full-time UMD students. The intake process is designed to determine if a student's needs match the level of care the Center is able to provide. When a student has an urgent or serious condition, we will help the student obtain appropriate treatment, which may include a referral to community-based providers or hospitals.