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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

Psychiatric Consultation

At the Schacht Center, psychiatric care is practiced within a framework that centers the treatment relationship and seeks to empower students in understanding their mental health within their unique context. Psychiatric care is provided by members of the Psychiatric Care Team, which includes primary care providers and psychiatrists. 


The Schacht Center offers students the opportunity for psychiatric consultation:

  • To explore the possibility of treatment with psychiatric medications
  • To continue medication treatment that was initiated by a previous provider.
  • To clarify diagnosis or gain an improved understanding of symptoms that affect functioning. 

How to Make an Initial Consulation Appointment

Email counselingservices@smith.edu to schedule an appointment with a member of the Psychiatric Care Team.

Be prepared to answer some preliminary questions in order to determine the appropriate provider to meet your needs. If you are working with a Schacht Center therapist, you may talk to them about a referral.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

Your initial appointment will last approximately 45 minutes.

The provider will ask you a lot of questions in order to try to better understand the nature of your experience, with a focus on identifying symptoms that are affecting your functioning. They will then discuss with you their thoughts and impressions and any treatment recommendations they may have.

These consultations are a collaboration between the student and the provider. The provider will describe treatment options, risks and benefits, and you will have the opportunity to ask your own questions and to discuss whether medication treatment seems right for you. Generally speaking, students will continue to work with the provider they meet with for their initial consultation but sometimes students will be referred to a different provider for additional consultation.

Ongoing Psychiatric Treatment

if you and your provider decide that medication treatment is indicated, you will establish an ongoing treatment relationship. The goal of this relationship is to work collaboratively in order to improve or maintain your emotional well being and functioning. Treatment with psychiatric medications requires regular visits in order to monitor the effectiveness of medication and any side effects. These visits will be more frequent at the beginning of treatment or if medications are being changed and less frequent as symptoms respond to treatment. You will also be encouraged by your provider to reach out to them and let them know if your symptoms worsen or if anything changes. 

In order to avoid running out of medication, it is important that you attend scheduled visits with your provider. If you need to request a refill of medication between scheduled visits, please contact the Schacht Center several days before you are out of medication so that your provider has time to authorize an appropriate refill.

You and your provider will also discuss plans for continuing medication treatment during semester breaks when the Schacht Center is closed.