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Psychiatric Consultation

Introduction to Psychiatric Services at the UIC Counseling Center

During the course of your treatment at the Counseling Center, your therapist may recommend that you receive a consultation with a psychiatrist. A consultation may be recommended in order to clarify a diagnosis, for an opinion regarding your current treatment, or for consideration of the use of psychotropic medications. Depending on your needs, your therapist may recommend that you meet with a psychiatrist at the center, or with a psychiatrist at another facility. However, students are not required to meet with a psychiatrist or to take medications. If you are interested in meeting with a psychiatrist for consultation and your therapist agrees that a consultation is clinically indicated, your therapist will help coordinate the consultation appointment.

Psychiatric Services Offered at the Counseling Center

The UIC Counseling Center offers limited, short-term, psychiatric services. Typically, only students who are actively involved in individual or group psychotherapy at the Counseling Center may receive psychiatric services at the center. Students who are not involved in psychotherapy at the center are usually directed to seek psychiatric services in the community. At the Counseling Center, there is currently one psychiatrist on staff, and at times, a resident in psychiatric training may also be available to provide psychiatric services.

If you already have a psychiatrist in the community, but are interested in meeting with the psychiatrist at the Counseling Center, your therapist will review this request with the Counseling Center psychiatrist before scheduling an appointment. If it is appropriate for you to receive a psychiatric consultation, your therapist will obtain a written authorization from you prior to the psychiatry consultation appointment to allow for communication between your current psychiatrist and the Counseling Center psychiatrist.

The Initial Psychiatric Consultation Appointment at the Counseling Center

The initial appointment with the psychiatrist is scheduled for 1 hour. Prior to the psychiatry evaluation, you will receive a consent form from your therapist, the Introduction to Psychiatric Services handout. This form should be carefully reviewed, signed, and brought in to psychiatric consultation appointment. Please also bring all medications and contact information for your primary care physician, any past psychiatrists, therapists, and pharmacy.

ADHD Evaluation and/or Management

If you are interested in evaluation and treatment for ADHD, please be aware that a medical evaluation, labs, and possible psychological testing (if not completed within the last 5 years) need to be arranged prior to prescription of any medications. At the present time, psychological testing is not available at the Counseling Center, but your therapist may provide referrals to an outside qualified professional. Psychological testing would need to be obtained at the student's expense.

Ongoing Treatment

If you receive a psychiatric consultation at the Counseling Center, it may be recommended that you continue psychiatric treatment at the center, or be referred to another facility for continued management, depending on the psychiatrist's assessment and your clinical needs. If you continue working with a psychiatrist at the center, you will have appointments with both your therapist and psychiatrist for ongoing treatment. Follow-up appointments with the psychiatrist are usually 20-30 minutes in length. The frequency of the appointments with a psychiatrist may vary, but the frequency of appointments will be at least every 3 months, but are often as frequent as every 2 to 4 weeks when initiating treatment with a medication.

Limitations of Service

Be aware that the psychiatrist is at the Counseling Center on a part-time basis. Services are by appointment only. There are no psychiatric appointments after hours or on weekends. If you are experiencing a psychiatric or medical emergency, or are presented with any life-threatening situation, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room. For less urgent concerns, the psychiatrist or a covering physician is available during regular hours to address your concerns by telephone. If it is determined that your needs exceed the services available at the Counseling Center, you may be referred to outside resources.

Cost for Psychiatric Services

There is no cost for psychiatric services at the Counseling Center. Medications that are prescribed by the psychiatrist are not supplied by the Counseling Center, but may be obtained through a pharmacy according to your health insurance.

No Shows, Late and Missed Appointments, Cancellations

Since your appointment is reserved for you, and therefore not available to another patient, we ask that you cancel at least 24 hours in advance when necessary. If you are late for your appointment, your appointment ending time may not necessarily be extended, and it is possible that instead you may be asked to reschedule (this would then be considered a missed appointment).

If you do not reschedule or make contact with the office within 2 weeks of the missed/cancelled appointment, it will be assumed that you are no longer interested in continuing psychiatric treatment at the Counseling Center. You may then receive a letter notifying you of intent for termination of treatment if you do not contact the Counseling Center immediately. Therefore, it is important to communicate your intentions to continue your treatment with your treating psychiatrist if you cancel or miss your appointment.

If you miss or fail two consecutive appointments without 24-hours notice, or establish a pattern of frequent missed appointments, your treatment may be terminated.

Medications and Lab Work

Medication(s) will be prescribed only when it has the potential to benefit you and deemed appropriate by the doctor. You will be informed of the indications for its use, along with potential side effects, risks, and alternatives to treatment. It may be necessary that certain tests, such as lab work, EKG's, or blood pressure checks, be completed prior to the start of medications or for continued prescriptions. If you are not able to follow through with these tests, it may be necessary to consider discontinuation of treatment.

Any patient being treated with medications through the Counseling Center must be seen at least every 90 days, unless the psychiatrist makes an exception.

It is expected that you provide a complete list of all medications that you are taking at every office visit. Notify the doctor of any new medical problems, medications, or drug allergies that you have.

Prescriptions

Written prescriptions will be provided at your appointment. Remember to ask for necessary refills before the end of each visit. Please note that prescriptions for refills will not necessarily be given if you have not been attending regular appointments as recommended by the doctor.

If you need medication refills prior to your next appointment, you can inform the receptionist or leave a voicemail message for the psychiatrist. Please note that a prescription for a medication refill requires that you have an upcoming psychiatric appointment scheduled. Be sure to leave the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Telephone number
  • Name of medication, dose and dosing schedule
  • Pharmacy phone number
  • Date of next psychiatric appointment

Alternatively, you may ask your pharmacy to fax a refill request to your psychiatrist at the Counseling Center at fax number (312) 996-7645. Prescriptions for refills will usually be handled within 2 working days. It will be your responsibility to call your pharmacy to check when your prescription is ready; you will not be called back by the Counseling Center.

It is your responsibility to safeguard your medications. Lost prescriptions for medications will not be replaced more than once. If a controlled substance, such as a stimulant or benzodiazepine, is lost or stolen, you may be asked to provide proof of stolen medication, such as a police report. It may be necessary for the psychiatrist to consider alternative treatment options if you are unable to safeguard your medications.

Telephone Calls To/From The Psychiatrist

Please realize that all calls placed to the Counseling Center psychiatrist during regular hours will be processed through the office staff. Please note that the psychiatrist is at the Counseling Center on a part-time basis and messages may not be received on a daily basis. If your needs are urgent, please inform the support staff when you leave your message.

After-Hours and Emergencies

If you feel you are having a psychiatric or medical emergency, or are presented with any life-threatening situation, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room. If you are trying to reach the UIC Hospital Emergency Room, the number is (312) 996-8177. If you are making contact with the UIC Psychiatric Resident-On-Duty (ROD), please inform the ROD that you are receiving psychiatric services under your named psychiatrist.

Termination of Psychiatric Services

There may be many reasons for terminating treatment, such as a determination that treatment is no longer needed, a conviction that another psychiatrist would be more effective, a geographical move, noncompliance with treatment recommendations, or repeated missed appointments. Discharge from treatment may occur at any time and may be initiated by either the patient or the psychiatrist.

We recommend that a final appointment be scheduled if you are considering termination of treatment. This will allow for referrals, if indicated, and to provide discussion of progress received to date, as well as reasons for termination.

If you choose to terminate treatment in a less formal manner, such as repeated missed appointments without notice and/or failure to reschedule, the doctor will terminate treatment and you may have the option to receive a refill for thirty days of medication coverage from date of termination, if clinically indicated.

If your therapy at the Counseling Center is discontinued, your psychiatric care will be transferred to another facility if you still require psychiatric services. Furthermore, if you are meeting with a psychiatrist at the center, it may be recommended for clinical reasons that your psychiatric care be transferred to another facility even if your individual psychotherapy continues at the Counseling Center.

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