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?
Psychiatric services at CCPH are currently limited. Students can be referred for CCPH’s psychiatry services only by their psychotherapist at CCPH or their PCP at UHS.
If you see a therapist in the community, either in the Amherst area or elsewhere, please ask your therapist to refer you to a psychiatric provider in the community.
If you have a psychiatric provider at home, we recommend that you continue seeing that provider.
What can I expect at an initial consultation appointment?
The first appointment with a psychiatric provider lasts 45-60 minutes and focuses on understanding your vision of wellbeing, the concerns that are interfering with your wellbeing, 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
- Any medication you are taking
- Current medical problems
- Family strengths and any history of psychiatric illness
- Substance use history
- Work, school and relationship issues
Sometimes medical evaluation by a primary care provider, lab tests, or psychological testing may be recommended to clarify the diagnosis and rule out medical causes.
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 psychotherapy, 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, either at CCPH or in the community, with rare exceptions.
Will I be able to get a prescription for medication for Attention Deficit Disorder?
We prescribe medication for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder to students who have a diagnosis of ADHD 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 ADHD 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 ADHD from your current provider. You may also seek care from a community psychiatric clinician in the Amherst area.