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The University of Texas at Austin - What Starts Here Changes The World The University of Texas at Austin Division of Student Affairs

Medication and Psychiatric Services

Business Hours:
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to p.m.
Appointment-Scheduling hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon & 1 to 4 p.m.
Phone: (512) 471-3515 - Student Services Building 5th Floor
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Individual and group counseling often provide effective treatment for mental health concerns, but sometimes medication and psychiatric services may be beneficial. To meet with a CMHC psychiatrist, a student must be referred by a therapist/counselor with whom they are currently meeting or by a medical provider.

CMHC Psychiatric Staff

  • Four full-time psychiatrists, board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology 
  • When appropriate, trainees that include a psychiatric resident, child psychiatry fellow and/or psychiatric nurse practitioner student, -- all supervised by a CMHC psychiatrist.
  • A psychiatric nurse who provides nursing care, schedules appointments, facilitates communication between the student and their psychiatrist, and assists with referrals.

Psychiatric Treatment at CMHC

CMHC psychiatrists provide psychiatric evaluation and recommend treatment for UT students. If medications are recommended, the psychiatrists can treat a student for up to 4 appointments, which usually occurs during the remainder of the semester during which the student was evaluated. CMHC offers off-campus referral assistance to students who require further psychiatric treatment.

CMHC psychiatrists do not provide intramuscular (IM) or intravenous (IV) medications, Ketamine, Buprenorphine, opiate replacement, benzodiazepines, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), stimulants for ADHD without psychological testing within the past three years, or letters of support for emotional support animals (ESA).

Educational Topics

If you have never taken psychiatric medication, but think that it might be helpful

If you currently take psychiatric medication and want to transfer your care to a physician at UT

If you used to take psychiatric medication and think that it might be helpful to start again

What to expect when you meet with the psychiatrist

Why some students are referred to off-campus psychiatrists

UT resources for ADD/ADHD

If you have never taken psychiatric medication, but think that it might be helpful

  • Call CMHC at (512) 471-3515 (option 3) to complete a screening with a brief assessment counselor. The counselor will discuss treatment options, including a possible referral to a physician to explore medication.
  • If you see a CMHC counselor and want to consider medication, discuss this at your next appointment.
  • If you see a non-CMHC therapist/counselor, discuss referral options with them, as they best know your needs.

If you currently take psychiatric medication and want to transfer your care to a physician at UT

It is generally helpful to continue your relationship with your current prescribing medical provider, if possible, because they have an established treatment relationship with you. If necessary and depending upon your circumstances, University Health Services physicians or CMHC psychiatrists may be able to assist you.

  • Begin the process early. If you cannot continue working with your current prescribing provider, know that transferring care to a new physician can take time.
  • Don’t wait until you are almost out of medication.  Students who delay initiating the transfer of their care often must request additional refills from their current prescribing physician.
  • Call (512) 471-3515 (option 3) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to complete a screening.
  • An appointment is typically scheduled in two to three weeks to allow time for you to sign a release of information form, which CMHC will mail or fax to your previous provider(s) and/or therapist(s) to request your treatment records.
  • If you will run out of medication before your appointment with a UT physician, call your prescribing provider to request that a prescription for additional medication be phoned to an Austin pharmacy. A four-week supply usually provides adequate time for CMHC to obtain your treatment records, complete the evaluation process, and provide recommendations.
    • You may choose to fill your prescription at the HEB pharmacy on-campus in the Health Transformation Building at 1601 Trinity Blvd. Call 512-320-9998 or visit their web site.
    • If, by law, your prescription cannot be phoned in to a pharmacy, ask your prescribing provider if they will mail your prescription to you.

If you used to take psychiatric medication and think it might be helpful to start again

  • If you are not in counseling, call CMHC at (512) 471-3515 (option 3) to complete a brief assessment with a counselor.
  • If you see a CMHC counselor and want to consider medication, discuss this at your next appointment.
  • If you see a non-CMHC counselor, discuss referral options with them, as they best know your needs.

What to expect when you meet with the psychiatrist

  • Courteous and professional treatment. CMHC psychiatrists are sensitive to your personal issues, and the information discussed at visits is confidential to the extent permitted by law.
    Confidentiality
  • Psychiatric evaluation. Initial visits usually last an hour, and entail questions designed to get to know you, your history, and your symptoms. In most cases, treatment recommendations will be discussed. The psychiatrist will determine whether your needs are within the scope of CMHC services. If they fall beyond our service scope, an off-campus referral may be made.
  • Follow-ups for medication monitoring.  If the psychiatrist prescribes medication, they will ask you to schedule a follow-up appointment to assess its effectiveness.
  • Recommendation for combination of services.  Most students taking psychiatric medications benefit from concurrent group and/or individual counseling, and the psychiatrist will likely recommend counseling for you. It is important to follow treatment recommendations.
  • Charges. Each psychiatric visit charge is $10. There is a $25 charge for missed appointments and cancellations made less than 24 hours before the appointment. CMHC does not accept health insurance.

How to communicate with your psychiatrist or the psychiatric nurse

  • Secure Messaging. Go to My CMHC on the CMHC home page to log-in for secure messaging, where you can communicate securely and confidentially with your psychiatrist or the psychiatric nurse or receive lab results or messages from your psychiatrist. Keep your e-mail current with the University. CMHC staff cannot respond to regular email messages, as email is not a secure communication method.

Why some students are referred to off-campus psychiatrists

CMHC serves the entire student community, but there are limitations on the availability of our services. We design our assessment and screening systems to determine whether a student's needs match services that CMHC can provide. When a student requires treatment that CMHC psychiatrists cannot provide (e.g., frequent, long-term appointments or specialized services), we work with the student to facilitate refer to an off-campus provider.

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