Consultation and Referrals


We provide consultation services to those who are not sure what they may need or to those who have concerns about others. During business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm), we encourage you to reach out to us regarding any mental health concerns about yourself or others (410-328-8404). Please inform the administrative staff if you are experiencing a crisis situation and need immediate assistance from a counselor. Outside of business hours, you may call our After Hours services (410-328-8404) and click on option 7) to speak with a counselor. For more information on what constitutes a crisis or an emergency, please click here. If you are not sure, please call to consult with a clinician.

Referral Assistance

Sometimes students find that our services at the Student Counseling Center may not meet their needs. Some students may feel more comfortable seeking services outside of the University, some may want more sessions than what SCC can provide, and some may have been recommended by an SCC counselor for long-term or more specialized care. If the SCC determines during the Assessment or over the course of treatment that a student’s needs exceed our scope of services, the student will be provided appropriate referrals to community resources.

The Senior Referral and Outreach Specialist, Tierra Major Kearney will work with students seeking or recommended for a referral to find the best provider options available to students. Upon completion of a phone triage with an SCC clinician, Mrs. Major Kearney will use the detailed information to develop a short list of providers within the scope of students needs and are accepting clients at this time. The off-campus provider will be in-network with the students given insurance and within the parameters they prefer. Mrs. Major Kearney will often consult with the clinician sending the referral to identify the best resources and providers for students.

The expected time to receive referrals is 3 to 7 days. We ask that our students are patient when seeking referrals, as the referral process is tailored to each student.

Please Note:

  1. If a student holds a faculty or staff position, the student may be referred to an outside provider. If the previous sentence applies to you, please ask to speak to one of our counselors to determine eligibility.
  2. If a student is not physically located in Maryland at the time of session, SCC counselors are unable to provide therapeutic services due to licensure requirements. If you are located outside of Maryland, SCC can still assist in finding referrals and resources in your area.

If you are interested in reviewing outside information on your own, please check out Find an off campus therapist (under Therapy and Self-Help Resources) as well as the below FAQ.

FAQ for using Private Insurance for Mental Health Services

In order to provide all UMB students access to the Student Counseling Center (SCC) services, the SCC utilizes a brief intervention, stepped care model for counseling and psychiatry services. Students seeking services at the SCC meet with an SCC counselor to discuss their concerns and collaboratively develop a treatment plan. While the SCC does not have a session limit, some mental health concerns would not be best treated within the SCC model.  The SCC is not able to provide specialized mental health treatment or treatment for long-term, ongoing symptoms. However, the SCC is committed to assisting students in connecting with mental health providers that fit their needs.

This SCC offers referral assistance services for all students. This service is provided by SCC counselors, SCC psychiatrists, or in cases with specialized mental health needs, the SCC Referral Assistance Coordinator. Students call ourmain number (410) 328-8404 and request to speak with a clinician for referral assistance.

The SCC referral assistance service is intended (1) to educate students on how to utilize their behavioral health benefits through their insurance, (2) to identify mental health providers who may be a good “fit” with the student and provide referrals for specialized mental health providers and (3) to support students in advocating for their mental health treatment needs with their providers.

Does my insurance cover counseling and/or psychiatric medication management? 

Yes, most insurance is required to cover these services as healthcare. Your plan may use the term Behavioral Health and may have a separate section on its website for these services.

How much do these services cost with insurance? 

It depends on your health insurance. For counseling/psychotherapy, most plans require a copay, usually between $15-$25. For psychiatry/medication management, the copay may be between $15-$50. If you have the Student Health Insurance Plan (United Healthcare Student Resources), you can review your copay information here. [Copay costs may change each academic year. Please review costs annually for your insurance.] If you have another insurance plan, check your summary of benefits and coverage for the cost of the copay.

Some plans may require you to meet a deductible (amount that you need to pay out of pocket before insurance will start covering services). If you have student insurance, you can review deductible information here. . [Deductible costs may change each academic year. Please review costs annually for your insurance.] If you have another insurance plan, check with your insurance provider if you are required to meet a deductible and the amount of that deductible.

If you have student insurance, you may utilize telemental health services for counseling and psychiatric medication management through Healthiest You. There is no copay or charge for these services through Healthiest You.

How do I find mental health providers covered by my insurance? 

There are several ways to find which providers accept your insurance. (1) You can look at a list of providers on your insurance company’s website and search by location. (2) You can use national counseling provider search databases, such as Psychology Today Find a Therapist and search by location then insurance accepted. Mental health providers pay to be listed in these databases so the databases may not include every provider in your area. (3) You can utilize SCC Referral Assistance (see above for how to access this service). (4) Or you can contact the mental health providers directly to ask which insurance they accept.

You should always confirm with your provider prior to your first appointment that they accept your insurance. Providers may change insurance panels or only accept a limited number of clients/patients with certain types of insurance. Do not assume that all mental health providers within a group practice accept the same insurance plans.

What do I do if I find a mental health provider I like, but they do not take my insurance (out of network)? 

Check your health insurance to see if you can submit claims for reimbursement for out-of-network providers. Many insurance plans cover out-of-network providers, but at reduced reimbursement (i.e., 80% of cost for in-network vs. 60% of cost for out-of-network). If you have the Student Health Insurance Plan (United Healthcare Student Resources), you can check your out-of-network benefits here. You will need to submit to your insurance copies of your bill and complete claims forms for out-of-network providers.

What do I do if my insurance changes and my mental health provider is no longer covered? 

If you know you will be changing insurance, such as aging out of parents’ insurance or changing due to other life circumstances, ask your current mental health provider as early as possible if they accept your new insurance. If they do not, they may be able to refer you to colleagues who do accept your new insurance. If you know you will be changing health insurance and will continue to utilize behavioral health services, investigate behavioral health coverage and the number of providers in your area. Some plans have more mental health providers and better coverage for behavioral health.

I have found a few mental health providers who take my insurance. How many providers should I contact? 

Try to contact a few providers to see if they are accepting new clients and what their availability is for appointments. If you do not receive a response after one week, you should follow up or try more providers. Some providers will include in their website or voicemail if they are accepting new clients or if there is a waitlist for new clients. If you are seeking a very specialized provider and type of treatment, you may have to wait for them to have openings or consider broadening your search.

I contacted several mental health providers, but none are accepting clients/patients or responding to my contact. What should I do? 

Contact the SCC for Referral Assistance services. You can call the main number (410) 328-8404. Our clinicians will gather information from you about your mental health treatment needs and work with you to identify and connect with providers. Certain times of the year tend to be “peak times” for mental health providers (i.e., October-November and March-April) so it may take longer to connect with providers if you are seeking services during these times. In some cases, the SCC may be able to provide bridge services (one or two 30-45 minute appointments) while you are waiting to connect with a provider.

I’m not sure that I can afford mental health treatment. What should I do? 

Some mental health providers may be able to offer low-cost or sliding scale services. Contact the SCC for referral assistance services as the SCC may have referral information for these providers. Low-cost and sliding scale services are limited and may have waitlists. In some cases, the SCC may be able to provide bridge services (one or two 30-45 minute appointments) while you are waiting to connect with a provider.

I am on my parents’ insurance and do not want them to know that I am receiving counseling and/ or psychiatric medication management services. What should I do? 

Under HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), you can request that your mental health treatment providers and insurance plan restrict disclosure of private health information if you are over the age of 18. Insurance companies are required to not disclose confidential information if this information would put you, the patient, in danger or at risk. You may request that your mental health treatment providers and insurer sends any billing, copayment information, or Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to your address or portal login. Some insurance companies may be less flexible with this request based on state laws and differing criteria about what may present a danger or risk if private health information is disclosed to parent policyholders. If you have this concern, call your insurance company prior to seeking services and inquire if EOB and other billing information can be sent directly to the patient.

Are individual therapy and/or psychotropic medication the only ways to treat mental health concerns? 

No. Many other types of services can be effective in treating or managing your mental health. Support groups, self-care apps (which may offer student discounts for annual subscriptions), psychotherapy self-guided workbooks, and mental health-focused podcasts can all be useful tools for your mental health. Please visit the SCC website section on Self-Help Resources for suggestions.