Medication can be helpful to students struggling with depression, anxiety and other emotional concerns that have a biological component. CCPH's psychiatric services can assist in the healing process.
How can I make an appointment with a psychiatric provider?
Students can be referred for psychiatry services only by their psychotherapist here at CCPH or in the local Amherst-area community. If you need a local therapist, please call us here at CCPH to schedule a triage appointment and we will help you connect with a local CCPH or community psychotherapist. Your therapist will discuss your needs with you and facilitate a referral to a member of the CCPH psychiatry team. If you see a therapist in the Amherst-area community, we ask that your clinician fill out this referral form and, once approved, we will call you to schedule an initial psychiatric consultation.
If you have a psychiatric clinician at home and you are doing well on your current treatment, we recommend that you continue seeing that provider. Doing so will assure continuity of care for you and helps provide all students with timely access to psychiatric services at CCPH. If you need to transfer your care here because you need more frequent consultations, please arrange ongoing care with your current provider until you have a first appointment here.
What can I expect at an initial consultation appointment?
The first appointment with a psychiatric clinician lasts 45-60 minutes and focuses on understanding your vision of well-being, the concerns that are interfering with your well-being, the efforts you've made in overcoming those concerns, and your interest in pursuing additional resources, such as medication. The psychiatric clinician will ask questions about:
- who you are as a person and what you care about
- current mental health problems and symptoms
- your efforts and successes in overcoming mental health challenges
- any medication you are taking
- current medical problems
- family strengths and any history of psychiatric illness
- substance use history
- work, school and relationship issues
The psychiatric clinician will collaborate with you in arriving at an understanding of the problem you are facing. Sometimes medical evaluation by a primary care provider or lab tests or psychological testing may be recommended to clarify the diagnosis and rule out medical causes. Next, you and your psychiatric clinician will create a treatment plan that may include psychiatric medication.
What about follow-up appointments?
Twenty-minute follow-up appointments will be scheduled throughout treatment to monitor your response to medication. These visits will be more frequent at the beginning of treatment; as treatment progresses appointments may be less frequent.
If I see a psychiatric provider, do I need to see a psychotherapist too?
Yes. Research has repeatedly shown that for most conditions, when treatment with medication is combined with therapy, clinical outcomes are significantly better than when medication is taken alone. At CCPH we have a combined model of treatment in which all students treated by our psychiatric clinicians are expected to also be seeing a psychotherapist.
Will I be able to get a prescription for medication for Attention Deficit Disorder?
We prescribe medication for Attention Deficit Disorder to students who have a diagnosis of ADD confirmed by formal psychological testing. This testing is done by a psychologist and generally occurs over several sessions. The testing should be relatively recent. If you have not been diagnosed with ADD via psychological testing, we can help you schedule testing either at CCPH or in the community. This can take some time, so be sure to arrange continued medication from your current provider.
If you have not had psychological testing and do not wish to be tested, we recommend that you continue to get your medication for ADD from your current provider. You may also seek care from a community psychiatric clinician in the Amherst area.