Psychiatric Services: Medical Evaluation and Monitoring
Psychiatric services are one of the treatment options available to Georgia State University students through the Counseling and Testing Center. The Counseling and Testing Center has a number of part time psychiatrists on staff available to serve students. Students who receive psychiatric services at the Counseling and Testing Center must be in counseling at either the Counseling Testing Center or the Georgia State University Psychology Clinic.
Students who are new to Georgia State University or have not been seen at the Counseling and Testing Center within the last six months will need to complete initial paperwork and make a consultation appointment with a clinician that will help the clinician recommend the needed services. If psychiatric services at the center are recommended, the student will be scheduled for a 50 minute initial assessment with a clinician. Afterwards, that clinician can make an appointment for the student with a psychiatrist. The first visit with the psychiatrist is usually an evaluation, which focuses on the reason for referral. During the evaluation, the psychiatrist will talk to the student about treatment recommendations and discuss a preliminary treatment plan. If the student agrees with the treatment plan, then a decision about ongoing treatment will be discussed. For some people, counseling (offered by Counseling and Testing Center clinicians) and medication monitoring (offered by Counseling and Testing Center psychiatrists) provides a complete and comprehensive system of treatment all under the same roof.
The best care is possible when the therapist and the prescribing practitioner have an ongoing working relationship used on the student’s behalf. Students who have a counselor or therapist outside of the Counseling and Testing Center may need to have their medication needs addressed outside of the Counseling and Testing Center by a provider recommended by their counselor or therapist. Students may also complete a release of information form, so that the Counseling and Testing Center may contact their counselor to confirm current participation in counseling. The Counseling and Testing Center occasionally follows students from Student Support Services and the Psychology Clinic who may not be participating in counseling services at the Counseling and Testing Center. If this occurs, the Counseling and Testing Center will work with the student to establish care with a community psychiatrist outside of the center.
Transferring Medication and Medication Monitoring to the Counseling and Testing Center
More and more students are coming to the university already being treated with medications. The Counseling and Testing Center would like to be able to assist students with their medications, but some preparation is needed to transfer care here.
Even if students are doing well on medications at present, Counseling and Testing Center professional staff need to get to know students and their counseling and psychiatric needs before assuming responsibility for prescribing or monitoring medication. This process starts with an initial consultation with a clinician. Some students will be referred for services within the Counseling and Testing Center, while others may benefit most from the resources available with other providers in the community.
At the time of the initial evaluation, students will be asked to sign a release of information form to obtain treatment records from their previous physician or therapist. The Counseling and Testing Center will mail or fax this request promptly, but it may take several weeks to obtain the records, as this depends on the response time of the former physician or therapist. Students who have been formally evaluated for attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD or ADHD) or have other documentation (i.e. hospital discharge summaries, other psychological testing results etc.) will be asked by the Counseling and Testing Center 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.
Students who are currently taking medication and are running low should contact their former physician to ask for a prescription to be phoned to their local pharmacy. They should inform the physician they are attempting to transfer their services to the Counseling and Testing Center and request a four week supply of medication. Students who are taking medication that cannot be called into a local pharmacy should request that a prescription be mailed to them.
Please note: the Counseling and Testing Center cannot refill prescriptions written by other psychiatrists. The Counseling and Testing Center does not accept automatic refill requests faxed from pharmacies.