Off-Campus Mental Health Provider Referral Process

Off-Campus Referral Process

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why am I being referred out?

A referral to a community provider ensures that your concerns are more effectively addressed beyond the brief counseling that Counseling and Psychological Services can provide. There may also be specialists in the community who can better meet your specific needs. Our goal is to best match your needs with the appropriate provider.

Why does Counseling and Psychological Services only offer short-term counseling? Why can’t I pay to get more sessions?  

As much as we would like to offer long-term counseling to our students, the demand for our services does not allow us to provide long-term counseling (even if students pay) in addition to providing timely access for new students.

What if I have trouble finding a community provider?

The process of finding a “good match” may take a little time and effort. UHS mental health counselors are also available to discuss what to look for in an off-campus mental health provider. If you continue to have difficulty finding someone, we strongly encourage you to contact a CAPS counselor who can provide you with further assistance.

What if I can’t afford it?

For students with SHIP seeing an in-network provider:

You are responsible for a $15 copay per office visit. The Student Health Insurance Office can provide you with more detailed information.

For Students who do not have SHIP or are on another insurance plan:

Counseling and Psychological Services can provide some guidance on how to use that insurance.  Additionally, several low-fee clinics in the area can provide quality service. Some off-campus providers may also offer a sliding scale fee.

Tips for Scheduling 

You can contact a provider by email, their website, or phone. If you call an off-campus provider, you will likely get a voicemail system or an answering machine; therefore, it is best to leave a brief message.

  • Share the following information when you contact a provider:
    • Name
    • Phone number
    • UC Berkeley undergraduate or graduate student enrollment
    • Insurance carrier information (e.g. SHIP, Aetna, etc)
    • The purpose for calling (e.g. I would like to start therapy to address my depression, anxiety, etc)
  • Your availability for appointments (e.g. Mondays between 2-5 pm, Wednesdays before noon, all day on Saturdays, etc).
  • It is best to contact 3-5 providers in one sitting. Make sure your voicemail box is set up and can accept messages so that the provider can leave you a voicemail if needed.
  • You may want to ask the provider the following questions:
    • What is your experience with concerns like mine? (e.g. depression, anxiety, family issues, relationship conflicts)
    • What is your counseling style?
    • For how many sessions do you typically see clients? 

Outside Referrals and SHIP

Videos on the Referral Process

Finding Out if a Provider is a Good Match

Deciding If Provider Is Good Match

Calling an Off Campus Provider

Calling a Community Provider

Preparing for ADHD or LD Assessment Referrals

What to expect when being referred out for ADHD or LD assessment

Preparing for your First Off-Campus Appointment

Prep for Your First Off-Campus Appt