Counseling and Wellness

Psychiatric Services at Counseling and Wellness Services

General Information Regarding Psychiatric Services  |  Making the most of treatment with medication |    

At CWS, psychiatric services are viewed as complement to therapy services because both therapy and medication can be effective, but they are both more effective when used together. Medication is tool which may be helpful in promoting a student’s wellness but they are seldom the only tool. 

Services are provided by the CWS Staff Psychiatrist and Residents/Fellows from the WSU Department of Psychiatry.

How do I get an appointment with a psychiatrist at CWS?

Wright State University students interested in receiving psychiatric services at Counseling and Wellness Services must first complete an Evaluation for Services at CWS. This process will establish the student as a potential client of the center. The client may then be scheduled for a Psychiatric Intake (one hour in duration). The Psychiatric Intake is scheduled with the CWS Staff Psychiatrist or a Psychiatric Resident/Fellow.

If you are receiving other services at CWS, you may discuss a referral to Psychiatric Services with your provider.

What should I expect?

At your first appointment, your psychiatrist will gather information including what brings you to treatment, what symptoms you are experiencing and for how long, what treatment you have received in the past and how your current symptoms are impacting your life. Your psychiatrist may request copies of past treatment records or ask you to complete blood work to evaluate possible medical causes. Using this information, your psychiatrist will discuss with you the most likely diagnosis and provide education about what that diagnosis means.  Your psychiatrist may recommend medication which would be helpful in reducing your symptoms and restoring wellness. Your psychiatrist will review the expected benefits of the medication as well as possible side effects that you may experience.

What if I’m not sure that medications are right for me?

Many students schedule a psychiatric intake to answer exactly this question.  Medications can have a significant impact for many people, but they may not address your particular needs/concerns.  Your psychiatrist will discuss with you what symptoms are most likely to improve with medication and what symptoms may be more effectively addressed in therapy. 

If I meet with a psychiatrist at CWS, will I be required to take medication?

No, the decision of whether to take medication or not is up to you.

What if I am taking medication from another doctor?  Can I still meet with the CWS psychiatrist?

Any student who is a client of the center is welcome to request a consultation with psychiatric services at CWS.  A consultation can be scheduled to talk about your experience with taking prescribed medication, to explore potential alternative options, or to transfer your medication treatment to the CWS psychiatrist.  

What if i decide to take medication but I don’t want my parents to know?

Counseling and Wellness Services does not release information to University administrators or faculty, to parents, family members, or to outside agencies without your written authorization. Exceptions to confidentiality include (as outlined by Ohio law):  when the provider determines that risk exists for a person or learns of risk to a vulnerable population. 

Aren’t medications expensive? Will my insurance pay for medication?

Many medications prescribed by the CWS Psychiatrist are quite inexpensive and are also covered by most health insurance policies. Your psychiatrist will work with you to find affordable and effective treatment options.

Do I have to pay for Psychiatric Services?

An initial evaluation with Psychiatric Services (Psychiatric Intake) is provided at no charge. A Psychiatric Medication Management fee of $20 will be applied for each psychiatric medication management session. A $30 missed session fee will be applied to any missed psychiatry sessions (Psychiatric Intake or Psychiatric Medication Management). All fees are billed through the Bursar’s office as a “Health Service Fee.”

What if I can’t afford Psychiatric Services in addition to other services I am receiving at CWS?

We are dedicated to providing services to the students of Wright State University.  If a student is truly unable to pay their session fees, we will consider a waiver of the fee or a reduction in fees (if the student is receiving multiple services).  Students may request a fee waiver or reduction by completing the Request for Fee Waiver/Reduction form and submitting it to the Director, Counseling and Wellness Services.  The Request for Fee Waiver/Reduction form may be downloaded from the CWS website. Students are encouraged to discuss the impact of a session fee on their financial situation with their therapist and/or psychiatrist.

What if I take medication and then have side effects? 

Although medication side effects may occur, they are never intended. Your doctor will discuss common side effects with you anytime you begin a new medication.  Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual side effects after taking your medication that were not discussed during your appointment.

Do not stop taking your medication unless you first talk to your doctor. Stopping your medication too early can cause the illness to return, make it more difficult to treat or cause unwanted side effects.

Scheduling

Psychiatric Medication Management appointments are usually 30 minutes in duration and typically occur every 30-90 days. Clients should not exceed a period of three months without an in person Psychiatric Medication Management session with a treating psychiatrist.


    Making the most out of treatment with medication 

Always:

  • Take your medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor, including at the right times and for the full length of your prescribed treatment. 
  • Talk to your doctor before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medication. 

When should I take my medication?

  • Try to take your medications at the same time every day. Follow your doctor's orders to achieve the full benefit and lessen the possible side effects of your medications. 

What if I forget to take my medication?

  • Don't panic if you miss a dose of your medication. Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular medication schedule. Do not take two doses to make up for the dose you missed. More is not better.

What if I can’t remember to take my medication regularly?

  • To help you stay on track, use pill organizers that separate your medication into the days of the week and times of day (For example one pill organizer for morning doses; one for evening doses). Fill the pill box at the beginning of each week. Always keep any remaining medications in their original containers. 

Can I take my medications with food/beverage? Can I break or crush my medications? 

  • Follow the label instructions carefully.
  • If you are taking medications with water, drink a full 8-ounce glass of water. Do not just sip enough water to swallow the pills. Not drinking enough water with some medications can prevent them from working properly and can cause throat irritation. 
  • Do not break, crush, or chew medications before swallowing them unless you have been instructed to do so. 

What if I have side effects?    

  • Your doctor will discuss common side effects with you anytime you begin a new medication.  Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual side effects after taking your medication that were not discussed during your appointment.
  • Do not stop taking your medication unless you first talk to your doctor. Stopping your medication too early can cause the illness to return, make it more difficult to treat or cause unwanted side effects. 

Can I drink alcohol while taking medication?

  • In most cases, you should not take any medications with alcoholic beverages. Check with your doctor for specific medication interactions.

What if it’s not working?

  • If you do not experience improvement immediately, be patient. Some medications offer symptom relief relatively rapidly. Others, including those prescribed for depression or anxiety, may take 2-6 weeks before offering noticeable improvement in functioning or mood.
  • Never adjust your medication without a doctor’s supervision.

What do I do when the bottle is empty?

  • First, examine your prescription bottle.  It will list the number of medication refills available. 
  • If refills are available, call the pharmacy and order a refill using the prescription number on your bottle.
  • If your bottle says no refills are available, but you thought you had a refill, please call the pharmacy to confirm the number of refills available. If no refills remain, please call your doctor to request a refill.
  • Please be aware that pharmacies often require 2-3 days to complete a refill request.  So, plan ahead and do not wait until your last dose to think about getting a refill.
  • Prescriptions are written for 30 or 90 days.  Refills provided should last until your next appointment. 
  • If you miss or cancel an appointment, please ask for refills to last until your rescheduled appointment. Please remember that refills for controlled medications such as stimulants used to treat ADHD cannot be called in to your pharmacy and require a new written script.
  • Always provide your preferred pharmacy’s contact information when you request a refill.

Will my insurance pay for the medication? How much will it cost?

  • By law, insurance companies must provide coverage for treatment of mental health conditions which is equivalent to coverage for medical and surgical benefits.  This coverage includes medication benefits.  However, they may prefer that you try less expensive medication before they will pay for others. 
  • If your pharmacy tells you that your insurance will not cover the medication, it is likely that the company requires a prior authorization before payment is issued.  A prior authorization must be completed by your doctor. Please notify your doctor that a prior authorization is needed.
  • The cost of medication varies greatly based on the medication and the dosage prescribed, as well as your insurance benefits.  There are many very inexpensive yet very effective medications available. 
  • Your physician will discuss an expected price range for your medication.  If the cost of your medication is a concern, please contact your physician as there are many programs available which make medication available at much lower cost to you.

How often do I need to meet with a physician?

  • People taking medication for symptoms of emotional distress should be monitored by a physician (psychiatrist, family physician, etc.) familiar with mental health concerns and the medications used to treat them, as well as the medication side effects.

At CWS, medication management appointments are typically scheduled every 4, 6 or 8 weeks, depending on how you are doing.  If you have been doing well without significant medication changes, your appointments may be scheduled every 12 weeks.