Staff in the Office of Case Management & Victim Support Services is available to assist students in identifying appropriate community resources. Please contact our office to meet with one of our staff for assistance in identifying a resource.
Office of Case Management & Victim Support Services
Off-Campus Mental Health Providers
As do most college counseling centers, the Counseling Center at Tulane utilizes a short-term treatment model so that they can assist as many students as possible in addressing mental health issues that may come up as part of university life.
Many times, it may be appropriate for students to find a New Orleans community provider who can offer consistent care over an extended time.
Finding an Off-Campus Mental Health Provider
Finding a provider can be a daunting task! There are so many different aspects to consider and it can be hard to know where and how to start the process. It’s important to know you have options.
When searching for a mental health provider, it is important to consider:
- What type of treatment do you want? (e.g. Individual therapy, group therapy, medications, long term, short term, etc.)
- Do you want to use your insurance or do you want to pay out-of-pocket? What can you afford?
- What qualities do you look for in a therapist? (Warm, caring, straightforward, honest, gentle, etc.)
- Do you have any preferences in a therapist? (Gender, religious orientation, etc.)
- How often and how long do you want to be seen?
- What challenges may complicate your treatment experience? (Previous bad counseling experiences, unreliable transportation, etc.)
Contacting the Provider
Once you identify a provider you should contact them via email or phone to find out if they have any availability.
When you leave them a message it is important you include some basic information:
- Name, contact information (phone and email) and best time to contact you.
- Insurance information
- Your availability (days and time)
- How did you find out about the provider (Thriving Campus website, CMVSS referral, etc.)?
- What do you need treatment for (depression, anxiety, etc.)?
- What services are you looking for (individual therapy, couples therapy, etc.)?
Other Questions to Ask
- How soon can you see me? How often can you see me?
- How much do you charge per session? Do you accept my insurance? What is your cancellation or reschedule policy?
- How long have you been in practice? What is your success rate?
- What kind of interventions do you use? What kind of therapy do you do?
Making the first phone call: You might not be able to reach the provider directly by phone on the first try. Leave a message clearly identifying yourself, saying who referred you, and stating your interest in scheduling an appointment. Make sure to clearly state your name and provide information about when and how you can be reached. You will usually hear back within a day or so, and the first phone conversation will probably be brief.
Verify that the provider accepts your health insurance and has availability for new clients. You can also ask questions about areas of specialty, clinical approach, and fees, etc. The provider will probably ask you a few things about yourself and what you are looking for. Most private practices accept out-of-pocket payments for services. Ask about fees for service, sliding scale fees, prepaid package discounts, and student or family rates. It’s important to be mindful of your budget and know what you can afford.
The First Appointment: If you feel comfortable with the phone conversation, you can set up an initial appointment to meet the clinician. You will likely be given some forms to fill out and sign.
The first meeting with any new mental health care provider often includes a general assessment of why you are seeking help, the nature of your concerns, developmental and family history, and questions to get to know you better and establish a foundation for treatment.
Getting Comfortable with your new provider: Sometimes it feels difficult to make the transition from one therapist to another. You will have to establish a level of comfort and it may feel like you have to tell your story over again. This may be true, but it can also be an opportunity to revisit your concerns and how you talk about them. Maybe you notice familiar themes recurring or perhaps what you emphasize or bring forward has changed slightly. In addition, different clinicians ask questions and respond in different ways, and this is often helpful in opening up new ways of understanding and addressing your concerns.
You might feel comfortable with your new clinician right away or it could take a few meetings before you have a sense if this is the right fit for you. Try to expect that your sessions will feel different and give it some time to see how conversations develop. If you decide that your new clinician is not a good match, it’s fine to try another provider. You are welcome to contact CMVSS for assistance if you need additional help or other suggestions of area resources.