Mental Health and Psychiatric Medication Management
This page is intended to explain the resources available to students for mental health treatment at Wilce Student Health Services (SHS), throughout campus, and the larger Ohio community. If you need mental health support today, there are three primary ways to talk to a counselor through Counseling and Consultation Services (CCS): a phone screening, let’s talk drop-in appointments, or urgent assistance.
Psychiatrist- Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental health disorders. A psychiatrist has completed medical school (is an M.D. or D.O.) and an additional four or more years of residency training in psychiatry.
Primary Care Provider- a health care professional (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) mainly responsible for the general care of a patient, particularly in an outpatient setting.
Counseling- the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems
Consultation- meeting with an expert or professional to seek advice
Assessment- a consideration of someone or something without judgment
Therapeutic Rapport- the relationship between patient and provider based on mutual trust, understanding, caring and communication
Services at the Wilce Student Health Center
Wilce Student Health Center provides assessment, treatment, and/or linkage for mental health and psychiatric medication management for diagnoses within the scope of primary care. Services are provided to currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Appointments at Wilce Student Health Center are billed through your insurance. Please confirm your insurance is in network with Wilce Student Health Center prior to scheduling.
Of note, Student Health Services collaborates with Counseling and Consultation Service to provide mental health services when appropriate.
Things to consider prior to initiating psychiatric medication management
- Typically, medication management is best utilized in conjunction with counseling or wellness coaching. Have you tried either to manage your symptoms?
- Are you currently in counseling? If not, consider scheduling a CCS phone screening. The phone screening is comprehensive in nature and covers numerous areas related to your overall wellbeing. You will talk with a counselor over the phone for about 10-15 minutes. The counselor will ask you for information about you and your concerns. The questions may be of a sensitive nature. It is important for you to share as much as you can so we can provide you with clinical recommendations tailored to your needs.
- Do you already have a primary care provider (PCP) or psychiatrist who manages your medication and can send your script to a local pharmacy?
- What are your treatment goals with medication management? This will help to inform decisions about appointment types and to frame your conversation with a provider.
If psychiatric medication management does not seem like the right place to start managing your mental health concerns, schedule a phone screening with Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) to determine your unique treatment plan.
Making Decisions around Mental Health Treatment from a Cultural Perspective
Counseling/Consultation: Treatment in any capacity is not mandatory and you are able to stop services at any time, all services are voluntary and open to second opinion. You will have input into your treatment plan. All services are confidential (within the limits of confidentiality by law), and engagement will not impact your academic record or immigration status. Counseling/Consultation can be used alone or with psychiatric medication.
Psychiatric Medication Management/ medical appointment: An “anxiety and depression assessment” at Wilce SHS is an appropriate starting point for discussing your mental health needs. Taking medication for mental health is like taking medication for medical illnesses, enhancing symptom management. Psychiatric medication management is an evidence-based and common practice for mental health treatment. Medication is best used with counseling/consultation. Psychiatric medication takes time to improve symptoms and the type/dosage may need to be changed based on side effects/progress. If you have any concerns with your medication, please consult with your prescriber. Taking medication does not indicate severity of your concerns.
Student Health Services provides assessment and medication management for mental health diagnoses. If you are not interested or ready to initiate psychiatric medication to manage your mental health concerns or want to initiate counseling services, consider scheduling a CCS phone screening first.
Who will I meet with?
You will meet with a medical provider at the Wilce Student Health Center for your initial evaluation. Our providers are primary care providers, meaning they can treat traditional mental health diagnoses that fall in the scope of primary care. At your medical provider's discretion, your care may be transitioned externally to a psychiatrist for further evaluation and/or treatment. For ongoing care, we recommend scheduling with the same provider for continuity of care. Wilce Student Health Center does not have any psychiatrists or psychiatric nurse practitioners on staff. You may be referred to CCS for further assessment.
What type of appointment should I schedule?
Your first appointment at the Student Health Center for mental health treatment should be an assessment. Scheduling an assessment allows for enough time for thorough evaluation and treatment planning, typically 40 minutes. The assessments offered at Wilce SHS include:
- Anxiety and Depression Assessment
- Eating Disorder- First Appointment
- ADHD Assessment
- Gender & Transitioning Care
How often will I need to meet with my medical provider?
You will see your medical provider until symptoms are stable, for ongoing care, or until your symptoms are determined to require a specialist like a psychiatrist. The medical provider will determine how often you need to be seen based on your response to medication.
How long will I need to be on my medication?
It varies and will be discussed between you and your medical provider.
What should I do if I have a need between appointments?
Secure message your medical provider on your My BuckMD account or schedule an appointment.
Schedule a follow-up appointment sooner than previously discussed.
Do I have to take medications if I meet with a medical provider?
No, medication management is completely voluntary and the decision is made by you, with the help of your medical provider.
What will my first appointment at Student Health Services for mental health assessment look like?
- Building a therapeutic rapport with your medical provider
- History of mental health symptoms and previous treatment
- Evaluation of concerns
- Establish a working diagnosis
- Treatment planning to include referrals if needed and decision to initiate medication management
Letters for Mental Health Accommodations
FOR ATTENDANCE: All students have access to their My BuckMD accounts where they can print verification of appointment attendance.
FOR VERIFICATION OF DIAGNOSIS (required for SLDS applications): All students have access to their My BuckMD accounts where they can print verification of their medical and mental health diagnoses. Students will register with SLDS and upload verification on their own (not during their medical appointment).
FOR SPECIFIC ACCOMODATIONS: Medical providers at Wilce SHS may choose to write a letter of support for a specific accommodation when appropriate given the student’s diagnosis and impairment. Please include what you have tried to manage your symptoms prior to receiving accommodations.
FOR ACADEMIC WITHDRAWL: Speak with your medical provider at your next appointment to discuss how your medical/mental health has impacted your ability to successfully attend and engage in your academics. Specific requests may be addressed for withdrawals that impact your Visa status. Please contact the Office of International Affairs (OIA) for specific information regarding documentation in this circumstance.
FOR EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS: The Student Health Center does not provide letters to approve emotional support animals on campus, please consult with your psychiatrist or mental health counselor for this request.
FOR HOUSING REQUESTS: Prior to writing letters for this concern medical providers will confirm if you are an established patient at Wilce SHS to determine if there is another professional better able to speak of your concerns. Medical providers will ask you what you have tried to manage your concerns already, and if changing your housing situation assist with current symptom management.
* Medical providers at Wilce SHS reserve the right to deny any request for a letter when not clinically indicated.
* All letters should be requested no less than 1 week in advance of due date
* Medical providers will not provide documentation unless a student is an established patient and has been seen at Wilce SHS
Transitioning care outside of OSU
I am graduating and need to transition care.
We encourage you to discuss a plan with your treatment provider ahead of your graduation. Especially if you are moving out of Columbus, transitioning your care can take a significant amount of time. (brainstorm ideas for resources for graduating students, another tab)
I will be out of the state of Ohio for break, but returning to campus later on.
Certain medications can be prescribed in larger quantities or sent to different pharmacies for temporary access while away from campus.