McKinley Mental Health Program Overview and Goals

The Mental Health Clinic at McKinley Health Center (MHC) provides evaluations, consultations, and recommendations for subsequent treatment for a variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties. Short-term individual psychotherapy (generally limited to 4 visits) and medication is provided when indicated. McKinley's staff of mental health professionals includes 1 licensed psychiatrist, 2 psychologists & 3 clinical social workers.  Students may also consider the University Of Illinois Counseling Center when considering an appointment. Information can be obtained at https://counselingcenter.illinois.edu/.

EMERGENCY TRIAGE is available during regular posted hours for acute assessment as one staff member is scheduled daily for this role.  Triage is focused on the assessment of possible harm to self or others and determination of transfer for further assessment and possible hospital admission. As time permits the student will be introduced to campus, self-help, and community care options. The student will also be prioritized for care at McKinley as schedules and scope of practice limitations permit. Further information is available in the pages that follow.

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To Obtain or Cancel a McKinley Appointment for Counseling or Medication, Call 217-333-2700

To schedule an initial appointment please dial 217-333-2700 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. If you are being referred from a provider outside of McKinley Health Center (MHC), please have them send MHC a detailed clinical summary prior to making the appointment.

*NOTE* If you need to cancel an appointment you must call at least two hours prior to your scheduled appointment time. Failure to do so will result in a $10 fee charged to your student account.

If you are charged for a missed appointment and feel the charge is in error, you may download and complete the Did Not Keep Appointment (DNKA) form (requires a PDF viewer) and mail the completed form via Campus or U.S. Mail to McKinley Health Center for consideration.

Appointment schedules book out weeks in advance during much of the fall and spring semester. We recommend the student see their assigned primary caregiver before making an appointment as access is faster and often the primary caregiver can meet the initial student need.

What if I’m in a crisis or cannot get an appointment?

McKinley and the Counseling Center provide emergency consultations to students with urgent mental health concerns between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. These consultations are focused on stabilizing the current crisis/emergency and providing immediate support to the student while linking them to our services. A student who is believed dangerous to themselves or others will be transported to one of the local emergency rooms for further assessment and treatment.  McKinley caregivers do not provide coverage of the student during hospitalization. Any student who is concerned they may be dangerous to themselves or others should call the Rosecrance Crisis Line at 217-359-4141 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.  McKinley has a Dial-A-Nurse program 24/7 and these resources can be accessed by calling (217)333-2700.


What should I expect?

The first appointment will provide the student with an opportunity to talk confidentially with a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist about your immediate concerns. The student should plan for this appointment to last about 90 minutes in total. The student will complete initial intake forms and meet for about 45 minutes. The student will talk about some of the reasons for the appointment and we will work to evaluate what services and resources will be most helpful. Some students find that this initial appointment is sufficient to resolve the immediate concern, while others require ongoing support. If further services would be beneficial, we will discuss why this recommendation is being suggested and work with the student to answer any questions. These additional services may include resources offered by the Counseling Center or referral to another campus or community resource.

Psychiatric treatment plans may or may not include medications. Allow three to four weeks to have an appointment with a counselor or psychiatrist during the fall and spring semesters, as appointments fill very quickly. While many of the oral medications are readily available through McKinley, long-acting injectable psychiatric medications or clozapine and some complex medication combinations cannot be managed at McKinley and the student will need to establish care with local psychiatrists in the community, or at home. Plan ahead if local community care is the student’s need as access to local psychiatrists for chronic medication management can take up to 6 months for the initial appointment.

Counseling sessions with our psychologists or licensed clinical social workers are generally limited to 8 visits in total to help bridge counseling to a community provider. If the student knows they will need more than 4 visits during one semester to address chronic issues, consider establishing with a local community counselor at the outset as this will provide the best overall continuity of care.

Due to the very high demand for mental health services and medication management, our psychiatrists work closely with our McKinley primary caregivers who support prescribing and the refill of medication needs. Students should be able to access their primary caregivers on a more timely basis; many needs can be managed at this level of service.


Work directly with Housing or the Landlord to petition directly for having an emotional support animal

Work directly with Housing or the Landlord to petition directly for having an emotional support animal. McKinley caregivers generally do not write letters of support for emotional support animals as it takes multiple visits to establish need. Mental Health providers may choose to write a letter of support if a student is currently undergoing and actively participating in counseling and other forms of treatment, and the provider believes an emotional support animal could be a component of a full treatment plan.


What if I need to talk to someone in case of Emergency or after 5:00 pm?

McKinley collaborates with Rosecrance Central Illinois, http://rosecrancechampaignurbana.org  to provide support and referrals for individuals needing mental health support after 5 p.m. and on weekends. Please contact the Rosecrance crisis line at 217-359-4141 to speak with a counselor. McKinley Dial-A-Nurse program is available 24/7 and these resources can be accessed by calling (217)333-2700


Stimulant Medication Prescriptions

Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity is a condition our caregivers can continue treatment support if the student submits appropriate documentation of need. MHC does not provide the testing for ADD/ADHD diagnosis. MHC can prescribe medications appropriate for a student if a legible letter or medical records come from a licensed clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, with support of the diagnosis. Medical records or letters from home primary care physicians are not accepted for ADD or ADHD. If a student needs to seek campus support for the diagnosis, call to test at the Disability Resources and Educational Services Department on campus or seek support from community specialists.

Due to the very high demand for medication management, our psychiatrists work closely with our McKinley primary caregivers who support prescribing and the refill of medication needs.  Students should be able to access their primary caregivers on a more timely basis;  many needs can be managed at this level of service.