Mental Health

The professional staff members of the Mental Health Service work with students to resolve personal and interpersonal difficulties, many of which can affect their academic experience. These include conflicts with or worry about friends or family, concerns about eating or drinking patterns, and feelings of anxiety and depression. Although some concerns are more frequent than others, students’ experiences are as varied as the students themselves. Staff members help each person figure out her or his own situation. Services include individual, group, and couples counseling, crisis counseling, and referrals.

Students do not need to see a Student Health Services physician for a referral to see a psychologist or counselor, but they do need to see a Student Health Services physician for a referral to see a psychiatrist.

If on-going counseling is needed, the student will be referred to an off-campus provider. Student Health Services provides coverage for off-campus counseling equal to 70% of the reasonable and customary charges for up to 24 sessions per academic year. The initial assessment session is provided free of charge. For subsequent visits, the student is responsible for a $10 co-payment payable directly to your provider. Research demonstrates that some financial contribution increases a student’s investment in counseling. Exceptions may be discussed where there are financial barriers. Students will be charged $40 for any appointments missed without proper notice. The maximum lifetime benefit per student is $15,000.

Inpatient hospitalization, if required, typically is provided off campus for confidentiality. Coverage for services related to an alcohol or drug dependency is the same as any other hospitalization.

Priority for counseling services is given to students whose problems may result in poor academic functioning. If a student is referred by a CAES Committee or by an academic advisor, they will be seen as soon as possible. Written HIPAA compliant authorization is required for communication between the university and Student Health Services on any issue regarding a student’s mental health. Please refer to the HIPAA Privacy Notice provided by the Student Health Service for specific information regarding HIPAA compliant authorizations.

If a student has difficulty making an appointment or are not pleased with your evaluation and/or treatment, please make an appointment with one of the physicians at Student Health Services or talk to one of the nurses. Psychological concerns may be treated with counseling, medication alone, or both in combination. Primary care physicians may evaluate the appropriateness of medication.

Students are also encouraged to seek the support of peer groups such as Student Support Services and the Student Advisory Committee. These groups seek to provide an avenue by which students can learn to balance their own needs in the midst of their graduate training.