Counseling & Psychiatry

Counseling services
Byrnes Building, seventh floor
901 Sumter St. Columbia, SC 29208
Appointments: 803-777-5223

Psychiatric services
Thomson Student Health Center, third floor
1409 Devine St. Columbia, SC 29208
Appointments: 803-777-1833

Maintaining your mental health during this vital time of your life is of the utmost importance in sustaining your academic performance and successes here at the University of South Carolina. Counseling & Psychiatry provides students a safe place to speak privately and confidentially with a trained counselor or psychiatrist about a variety of concerns. These may include stress, anxiety, loneliness, depression, relationship difficulties, questions about identity, eating concerns, substance use, sexuality, managing an existing mental health condition or any other issue.

Our multi-disciplinary team of professional mental health providers includes psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers and supervised trainees in psychology, counseling and social work.

Services provided by counselors
•  Individualized evaluation and counseling
•  Group counseling and couples counseling
•  Consultation services for students, faculty, staff and parents who are concerned about a student
•  Crisis intervention services
•  Referral services
•  Community-based services including community support meetings and GSPOTS (Gamecocks Speaking Proactively On Topics of Sexuality)
•  Substance abuse consultations

Services provided by psychiatrists
•  Psychiatric evaluation, diagnosis and treatment recommendations
•  Medications (if recommended) with ongoing monitoring (which may include transfer of care and medications to and from your previous provider)
•  Substance abuse consultations
•  Coordination of care with other MDs and the ordering of laboratory tests (if needed)
•  Crisis intervention services
•  Referral services
 
Currently-enrolled USC students who have paid the student health fee are eligible to receive most services for counseling at no additional charge. However, students who request more than 10 individual sessions per academic year may incur additional charges. Visits with a psychiatrist require additional charges. Enrolled students who have NOT paid the student health fee are eligible to receive most services within Counseling & Psychiatry but are charged on a fee-for-service basis.

Confidentiality
All counseling and psychiatric visits are confidential. Mental and physical health care records are completely separate from all other university records. Counseling & Psychiatry staff confer with one another and with other Student Health Services health care providers as needed to provide integrated care. In the event of treatment at a hospital, we will share relevant information for continuity of care. Otherwise, Counseling & Psychiatry will not release information without a patient’s written permission, except as authorized or required by law, or in our judgment as necessary to protect the patient or others from a serious threat to health or safety.

Medications
If you are currently seeing a counselor and want to consider medication in conjunction with your counseling, you may call to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist. We encourage you to please discuss this with your counselor who can assist in the referral to the psychiatrist.
If you are only interested in medications, or are in need of transferring your current psychiatric prescriptions, please request an initial consultation with one of our psychiatrists.

Student Health Services has an in-house pharmacy located next to the psychiatry offices and can assist in the transfer of current medications from outside providers. If you are currently taking a controlled substance, please refer to the Student Health Services policy on the prescribing of controlled substances and our Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) policy.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
If students take stimulant medication for Attention Deficit Disorder, they must provide appropriate documentation (psychological testing) performed within the past three years. New psychological testing may be submitted, but students should obtain testing requirements and information regarding our policies prior to being tested. These services are the financial responsibility of the student. Please see the ADHD Policy for more information:
www.sa.sc.edu/shs/files/2014/02/ADHD-Policy-PSD-2011.pdf

Walk-in Hours   
Counselors in the Byrnes building are available any time for crisis appointments during business hours. If you are not in crisis but want to be seen immediately, walk-in hours are also available 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Services on Sunday are located in the Thomson Student Health Center

Emergency Care  
If you are experiencing a mental health emergency and need to speak with a behavioral health professional, call 911. If you are unable to call, go to the nearest emergency room at one of the surrounding hospitals. A list of nearby emergency rooms is available at www.sa.sc.edu/shs/afterhours.