Psychiatric Consultation/Psychiatry Scope of Service
Medication may be helpful for students struggling with depression, anxiety and other emotional concerns and UNH’s psychiatric services can be of assistance when seeking to establish treatment for complex mental health challenges. Please note that there may be times when due to high demand the wait for psychiatry services is lengthy, and students may be able to receive services sooner off campus, including through their primary care provider. Further, once students have established a stable medication plan, they are typically referred to their primary care provider for continued care as needed.
If you see a therapist in the community, please ask your therapist to refer you to a psychiatric provider in the community. If you have a psychiatric provider at home, we recommend that you continue seeing that provider.
Sometimes, the management of long-standing, chronic, and/or complex psychiatric conditions is beyond the scope and/or capabilities of our service. If this need arises, PACS can work closely with you to find community resources that better serve your needs. Please note that research has repeatedly shown that for most conditions, when treatment with medication is combined with psychotherapy, clinical outcomes are significantly better than when medication is taken alone.
How can I make an appointment with a psychiatric provider?
You can be referred for UNH’s psychiatry services by your therapist at PACS or a primary care provider at Health & Wellness. Treatment for certain mental concerns may include a medical evaluation, labs, and/or meeting with a dietician prior to continuing treatment due to concerns of medical instability. In all cases, it is expected that you follow the essential recommendations of their provider and, if you choose not to follow them, you can be referred for treatment in the community instead.
You may be, and students in generally are, referred to care in the community if you need:
- An intensive outpatient program, inpatient care, or residential treatment
- Pain management
- Medication assisted management for substance use disorders
- Weekly psychiatric services for more than 3 sessions
- Medication and psychotherapy with the same provider
- Evaluations for employment, the courts, for attorneys, or for police-related arrests
- Treatment when on leave of absence or after graduation.
The University of New Hampshire (UNH) offers a range of mental health services to support the well-being of its students and their academic success. UNH’s psychiatric services can be of assistance for students seeking to establish treatment for complex mental health challenges, such as major depression, certain anxiety disorders, and other significant emotional concerns.
Overview of Services
- Initial Assessments: This assessment may involve an interview, screening questionnaires, a review of medical history, a medical evaluation, labs, and/or an appointment with a dietician prior to establishing or continuing with treatment due to concerns of medical instability.
- Diagnosis, Treatment Planning, and Medication Management: Psychiatric services at UNH include diagnostic evaluations and providers work with students to develop an individualized treatment plan. Treatment plans may include recommendations for therapy, medication management, or a combination of both. Our providers will help to assess the effectiveness of medications, adjust dosages, and monitor for any side effects or complications. Research has repeatedly shown that for most conditions, when treatment with medication is combined with psychotherapy, clinical outcomes are significantly better than when medication is taken alone.
- Collaboration with PACS: Our providers may work in collaboration with counselors or therapists from Health & Wellness, PACS, or the community. This collaboration ensures a coordinated approach to mental health care and allows for comprehensive treatment planning.
- Crisis Intervention: Our providers may be involved in responding to mental health crises on campus. They may provide immediate interventions, assess risk, and determine appropriate courses of action, which may include hospitalization, referral to emergency services, or other appropriate support.
- Consultation and Education: Our providers consult with other healthcare professionals, faculty, and staff regarding mental health concerns. They may also participate in educational initiatives, workshops, and outreach programs to raise awareness about mental health and promote well-being within the university community.
While psychiatry services can be beneficial for some students, these services may not be appropriate or clinically indicated. Further, the availability of psychiatric services at UNH may vary based on available resources and the evolving needs of the university community.
Here are some instances where psychiatry services at UNH are contraindicated:
- Mild or Temporary Difficulties: For students experiencing mild or temporary difficulties, such as adjustment issues, homesickness, or academic stress, psychiatry services may not be necessary. Instead, other supportive resources like counseling, peer support groups, or academic advisors might be more appropriate.
- Preference for Non-Medication Approaches: Some individuals may prefer non-medication approaches to mental health support. In such cases, alternative support, therapies, counseling, or psychotherapy might be more suitable than treatment focused on medication management.
- Already Engaged in Effective Treatment: If a student is already receiving effective treatment through another mental health professional, such as a psychologist or therapist, primary care provider, or psychiatrist, and does not require modification of their medication(s), additional psychiatry services may not be necessary.
- Long-standing, chronic, and/or complex psychiatric conditions: Some long-standing, chronic, and/or complex psychiatric conditions are beyond the scope and/or capabilities of our service. Students struggling with such conditions may be referred to other providers in the community or in other settings, such as hospitals, or intensive / residential treatment centers.