If you are experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, the sooner you get treatment the better. But, getting treatment can sometimes seem tougher than anticipated. The following steps will act as a guide and assist in your efforts to secure treatment.
Accessing psychiatry care at the University of Florida:
- Advocate – Let a friend or parent know you are seeking help so they can support your efforts.
- BCR (Brief Consultation and Referral)– Ask for a BCR appointment at the Counseling and Wellness Center (352-392-1575). When you meet with the counselor, ask to see a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner in SHCC Psychiatry at the Counseling and Wellness Center (SHP) if needed.
- Case Manager – If there are no psychiatry appointments, request to meet with a Counseling and Wellness Center case manager. They will help you find a community psychiatrist to expedite your care.
- Primary Care – If the wait to see a psychiatrist seems too long, you can ask your primary care doctor at the Student Health Care Center if he or she will evaluate and prescribe you a psychiatric medication if warranted. Not all primary care doctors will do this, and in that case, you might want to see if your primary care doctor or pediatrician from home will start you on medication as a bridge to getting in with a UF or Gainesville psychiatric provider.
- For eligible students interested in transferring care from an outside psychiatric provider, a Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) BCR appointment is required to initiate the process of transition to SHP. Sometimes there can be delays during busy times of the year due to limited access.
- Patience and Hope – Don’t give up if you’re encountering problems. Work with your friend, parent, and UF personnel to get treatment.
What to expect during your Brief Consultation and Referral (BCR) appointment
During your CWC BCR appointment, a counselor will meet with you and assist with your mental health treatment needs, including a request for a referral to a psychiatry provider as warranted. The counselor may also discuss therapy options and offer other recommendations to help best address your needs. When referred to SHP, you will be contacted by our staff and scheduled for a consultation appointment with one of our psychiatric providers. Students whose needs are better met outside the CWC will be referred from the BCR appointment to a community psychiatric provider. When needed, a case manager can help facilitate a referral for an appointment with a provider in the community.
SHCC Psychiatry Referral
When referred to Student Health Psychiatry, you will be contacted by our staff and scheduled for a consultation appointment with one of our providers. If you have previously been prescribed psychotropic medications, our clinic requires records from that prescribing provider. Scheduled new patients will receive an email prior to their appointment detailing that process.
What to expect during your initial Psychiatry Consultation
You will meet with a psychiatry provider and review your history, current symptoms, substance use history, medical illnesses, and issues with school and relationships. This initial consultation appointment typically takes between 60 and 90 minutes. If the provider believes you will benefit from treatment by SHP, follow-up appointments will be set up. If your needs would be better met by a community provider, a referral will be made to the community.
What are the barriers to treatment?
Sometimes the stigma of seeing a psychiatry provider might keep you from getting help, but we want you to know that 31% of college students have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder in the last year, and that these issues are common at your age. Therapy and wellness activities are very important tools for recovery. Medication can be an additional tool for treating symptoms. We hope that by reading the article below you will feel more comfortable seeking help for problems that often occur in university students.
Release of Information forms (ROI), when are those needed?
Students may find the completion of a Release of Information (ROI) advantageous when additional communication and support is required or indicated. ROI’s allow the student to control who their information is shared with and can allow significant others to provide additional support in times of need. ROI’s are also indicated when requesting past records or having conversations with current or future providers so that we may facilitate a higher level of care.