Psychiatric Services: Medical Evaluation and Monitoring
Psychiatric Services is one of the treatment options available to you as a Georgia State University student through the Counseling and Testing Center. The Counseling and Testing Center has a number of part-time psychiatrists on staff available to serve you.
If you are new to Georgia State University or have not been seen at the Counseling and Testing Center within the last six months, you will need to complete initial paper work and make a consultation appointment with a clinician that will help the counselor recommend the services you need. If psychiatric services at the center are recommended, you will be scheduled with a 50 minute initial assessment with a counselor. that counselor can make appointment with a psychiatrist for you. Your first visit with the psychiatrist is usually an evaluation, which focuses on why you were referred. During the initial, one hour evaluation the psychiatrist will talk to you about treatment recommendations and discuss a preliminary treatment plan. If you agree with the treatment plan, then a decision about ongoing treatment, probably involving the use of medication, will be discussed. For some people, counseling (offered by Counseling and Testing Center therapists) and medication monitoring (offered by the Counseling and Testing Center psychiatrists) provides a complete and comprehensive system of treatment all under the same roof.
If your counselor/therapist is outside of the Counseling and Testing Center, then you will need to have your medication needs addressed outside of the Counseling and Testing Center by a provider recommended by your counselor/therapist.
We believe the best care is possible when your therapist and your prescribing practitioner have an on-going working relationship that is then put to use on your behalf. We occasionally follow students from Student Support Services and the Psychology clinic who may not be participating in counseling services at the Counseling and Testing Center. Unfortunately, on some occasions a student’s concern requires care that is beyond that which we can provide at the Counseling and Testing Center. If this occurs, we will work with you to establish care with a community psychiatrist outside of the center.
Transferring Medication Monitoring to Counseling and Testing Center
More and more students are coming to the university already being treated with medications. We would like to be able to assist you with your medications, but some preparation is needed to transfer your care here.
Even though you may be doing well on medications at present, we need to get to know you and your counseling and psychiatric needs before we can assume responsibility for prescribing and/or monitoring your medication. This process starts with an initial consultation with counselor. If a student’s needs are beyond the scope of our services, you will be referred to outside providers in the community.
At the time of the initial evaluation, you will be asked to sign a release of information form for us to obtain your treatment records from your previous physician or therapist. We will mail or fax this request promptly but it may take a few weeks for us to obtain the records as this depends on the response time of your former physician or/and therapist. If you have been formally evaluated for ADD/ADHD or have other documentation (i.e. hospital discharge summaries, other psychological testing results etc.), we will also ask you to sign a release of information form in order to obtain copies for our records. Please keep in mind that all records must be reviewed prior to being accepted for medication monitoring.
It is important to have past records available to the psychiatrist prior to your first session with the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will review the records before meeting with you. Access to this information allows the psychiatrist to better focus the interview while maintaining a high quality of health care. Please note that you will need to have a 50 minute initial assessment before a psychiatric appointment is scheduled.
If you are running low on your medication, we suggest that you call your former physician to ask for a prescription to be phoned to your local pharmacy. Your physician is familiar with your care and your needs and is in the best position to supply you with medication in this interim period. Let your physician know you are looking into transferring your services to the Counseling and Testing Center and request a four-week supply of medication. Your former physician can call this information into a local pharmacy when you provide the phone number to a pharmacy where you would like to obtain your medications. If you are taking medication that cannot be called into a local pharmacy, mailing you a prescription may be an option. A four-week supply should be adequate to obtain records about previous treatment, complete the evaluation process and provide recommendations. We will not refill prescriptions written by other psychiatrist.
Although some people do well with medication alone, many people benefit from a combination of psychotherapy (group or individual) and medication. It is possible that the counselor or the psychiatrist will recommend you have therapy in conjunction with being provided a prescription for medication. If both are recommended and you choose to only seek medication, you will be referred to a community psychiatrist for medication. Decisions regarding access to care are based on the fit between your psychological and psychiatric needs and the scope of services we provide. If a referral is suggested, we will supply you with a list of providers in the community and do our best to help facilitate your transfer to the appropriate referral option.