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Psychiatric Services

The SHC is pleased to offer psychiatric care to students. The primary focus of psychiatric care at the SHC is the management of psychiatric medications. We strive to make each student feel welcomed, understood and supported. 

Please note that the SHC does not provide walk-ins or emergency psychiatric evaluations. If you are experiencing a medical or psychiatric emergency, are experiencing thoughts of harm to yourself or others, then please call AU Public Safety at 202-885-3636, if you are on campus or 911 if you are off campus.

The SHC provides limited psychiatric services for its students. The Psychiatric services are best suited for students who are currently stable on psychiatric medication or students who are experiencing new onset of symptoms such as anxiety or depression, but are not in crisis (please see “psychiatric emergencies” tab). Since SHC Psychiatry focuses on psychiatric medication, not therapy, ongoing therapy may be contingent for medication management (or highly recommended), based on the provider’s clinical judgement.

There are situations where students will be referred off campus because the concerns are outside of the scope of care the SHC can provide. These include:

-In-depth neuropsychiatric testing for conditions like ADHD

-Cases that require a higher level of expertise or care

-Cases that require being seen more than once per month

-Drug and alcohol use disorders or dual diagnosis, as diagnosed by the SHC psychiatric provider

-Eating disorders  

To schedule, please call the SHC at 202-885-3565. Psychiatric visits cannot be scheduled online.

If you are a student interested in counseling and psychotherapy, please contact AU's Counseling Center by phone (202-885-3500) to schedule a confidential appointment with a counselor. The Counseling Center can also provide referrals to psychiatric and psychological care in the community.

Please note that the first visit is a consultation and not a guarantee of treatment or medication prescription or refills. 

Attending this appointment does not establish a patient – clinician relationship with the SHC psychiatric provider.  The psychiatric provider will perform a comprehensive psychiatric consultation, to determine if your treatment needs are within the scope of care we can safely provide in the SHC. If not, you may be referred off campus. Please plan accordingly and ensure you have enough medication from your previous prescriber to last you until you establish care with an off-campus prescriber. 

The first psychiatry visit is about 1 hour and follow-up visits are up to 30 minutes. During this consultation, the provider will collect pertinent information including history and current symptoms, prior to discussing medications. They will also review whether medications are appropriate, present medication options, and the discuss the benefits and risks of each. You are encouraged to ask questions and be an active participant in your care.

Any student who has not been prescribed psychiatric medication in the student health center before will need to schedule an initial psychiatric consultation. 

The only exception to this is students who are just looking for refills of ADHD medication and do not need their medication adjusted. As long as you have submitted documentation of you ADHD diagnosis and treatment, you can schedule an ADHD Refill visit with a general medical provider through the student health portal.

Prior to the first visit, students will need to complete the “Psychiatric Assessment Form” on their student portal. The form MUST be completed in its entirety. Failure to complete the form may require rescheduling.

For the best possible care, it is advised to send the most recent progress note from the current psychiatric prescriber including your diagnoses and current medications.

No Previous ADHD Diagnosis: The AU Health Center does not do ADHD/ADD Testing/Diagnosis. If you would like suggestions for where to be evaluated, please email shc@american.edu.

Prior Diagnosis of ADHD but No Previous Treatment: Students diagnosed with ADHD after receiving neuropsychiatric testing but who have not yet started medication can schedule an appointment with a psychiatric provider at the SHC to initiate treatment (call 202-885-3380). Prior to that appointment, the neuropsychological testing should be faxed or emailed to SHC (fax: 202-885-1222; shc@american.edu). The testing must have been done by a psychologist at the PhD/PsyD level who is trained in psychoeducational evaluation and must meet the SHC ADHD report requirements.  Please note that meeting with an SHC psychiatrist does not guarantee a prescription of or refill for stimulant medication. If the provider has concerns regarding the safety of stimulant medications, they may refer you for further medical work up before beginning medication.

Continuation of ADHD Treatment: Students already taking ADHD medication who do not need dose adjustments can schedule with any health care provider at the SHC. (Students who are interested in medication changes should schedule with one of the psychiatric providers). Prior to the first appointment, the medical provider who most recently refilled the prescription should complete and fax back the “ADHD Required Documentation Form”, which is available on the SHC website under "Forms".

Psychostimulant Medication Contract: All students receiving prescriptions for stimulant medications must review and sign the contract, which will be made available via the SHC portal once an appointment is scheduled.

Prior records can be dropped off, sent via fax: 202-885-1222 or scan and emailed to shc@american.edu. It can never hurt to verify before the visit that the records were received (especially if faxed). If we have not received your records, you may be asked to reschedule.

Students are encouraged to bring their current medication bottles to the visit so that we can ensure the correct medications and dosages.

Please bring the name & phone numbers of any current or past psychiatric providers.

You will also need a copy of your current insurance card.

The initial consultation, 1-hour in duration, is $75. Follow-up visits are up to 30 minutes and $35. If students are unable to afford services, please talk with your provider about this during your appointment. The student health center does not want your inability to pay to get in the way of you seeking treatment.

If you wish to cancel or need to reschedule, we ask that you email SHC at shc@american.edu or call the SHC at 202-885-3380 (option 1 & then 3) at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. As with all medical appointments at the SHC, students who do not show up for their appointments or cancel their appointments within 2 hours of the appointment times will be required to pay a $20 fee. Please be aware that if you cancel your appointment, arrive late to your appointment, or no show to your appointment, your next available appointment may be 2-6 weeks after the original appointment date, and may affect whether your provider can refill your medications.

  • Please note that a "no show" is defined as any of the following:
    • Missing any appointment without notifying the SHC
    • Cancelling an appointment with less than 2 hours' notice
    • Presenting late for a scheduled appointment

Due to time constraints, if a student arrives late to an initial or follow up psychiatric visit they may be asked to reschedule.

Due to the demand of services, students who miss 3 or more visits may be discharged from psychiatric services at the SHC and provided off-campus referrals.