Student Counseling Service (SCS) has three psychiatrists and one psychiatric advanced practice nurse on staff. If, as a result of your intake appointment or a later SCS therapy appointment, it is decided that you will meet with a psychiatric provider at SCS, your therapist will help you to schedule an evaluation. (Please note this process is the same for all new-to-SCS patients requiring psychiatric services and may require you to be in contact with your most recent provider to arrange refills before your appointment at SCS if you have already been taking medication provided elsewhere.)
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
The first appointment with a psychiatric provider is an evaluation; sometimes more than one appointment is needed for the evaluation to be completed. Once the evaluation is completed, diagnostic impressions and treatment recommendations will be made and will be discussed with you. The initial appointment will last up to 45 minutes.
After the Consultation/ Medication
If you agree to begin treatment, follow-up appointments will be made to assess your progress (follow-up appointments typically last up to 25 minutes). Initially the appointments will take place more frequently, but over time as the situation improves and stabilizes, the appointments typically will become less frequent. Depending on the circumstances, you will be treated by the same psychiatric provider or will see more than one psychiatric provider over time.
SCS seeks to accommodate the psychiatric needs of all eligible UChicago students as long as they remain enrolled and eligible for services. This includes long-term medication management when indicated. Students are rarely referred to private psychiatric providers in the community, but such outside referrals can be made in cases where the student’s treatment needs are beyond what can be safely provided at SCS (for example, inpatient, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient level of care, combined psychotherapy and medication, or injectable medication), or when it is the student’s preference.
Please review the SCS Medication Refills page for further information.
Most students (and prescribers) prefer to have their medication management transferred to SCS while they are living in Chicago for most of the year. If this is the right option for you, please plan to arrange an intake appointment, at which time your treatment needs will be assessed and you will likely schedule a psychiatric evaluation. Please know that SCS psychiatric providers take your care seriously and, as such, cannot prescribe for you without having conducted their own independent assessment. You will likely want to be proactive in terms of scheduling and arranging refills from your prior prescribers to cover until the time of your psychiatric evaluation at SCS.
In some cases, often when one is very stable on medication that can be prescribed across state lines and when both the student and their home-area psychiatric provider feel comfortable, it may make the most sense for students to continue to work with someone back home and have that person assist in arranging for prescription refills here in Chicago (see our prescription refill page for a list of local pharmacies). If you feel this would be the best arrangement for you, you should discuss it with your outside prescriber prior to coming to campus.