Searching for Off-Campus Mental Health Providers
The Student Counseling Center offers free short term therapy to all current Mercy College students. While the short term model is common among American colleges and allows students to learn coping skills and to address short term goals, it is limited in the number of sessions. Sometimes, long term therapy or more specialized treatment with an outside provider can be more beneficial.
Please read through the information below to learn how to find a therapist or psychiatrist in your community. If you have any questions, the Student Counseling Center can help you to find a referral to a nearby mental health provider who takes your insurance.
Why Seek an Off Campus Provider?
It may be beneficial to seek out an outside provider if:
- You completed treatment at the Student Counseling Center and would like to seek out more long term therapy
- Your availability does not match with that of the Counseling Center. At certain times in the semester, the Counseling Center receives many appointment requests, possibly leading to a wait time for an appointment
- You are looking for evening or weekend appointments with a therapist
- You are seeking long term treatment (more than 8 sessions) and would like a consistent therapist
- You are looking for a provider who can also prescribe medications
- You would benefit from more specialized and intensive treatment such as eating disorder treatment, substance use treatment, intensive day programs
- You are not an active student at Mercy College (alumni, summer semester, etc)
How to Find an Off-Campus Provider
There are some important things to consider in the process of finding a therapist.
- Do you have health insurance? If so, what company?
- Are you willing to pay out of pocket or do you want to only search for providers who accept your insurance?
- What are you looking for in a therapist? (Gender, religious orientation, racial background, age, etc)
- What type of treatment are you looking for? (Short term, Long term therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, medications, etc)
- Are you able to commit to regular appointments? If so, how often?
Once you have answered these questions, there are a several ways to begin your search.
Search for a provider through your insurance company
To find therapists through your insurance, call the number on the back of your health insurance card or go to their website to search through providers. It is important to confirm that the therapist accepts your insurance before attending your first session.
Search through Psychology Today
Psychology Today is a valuable resource to finding mental health providers within your insurance network in your community. The site helps connect you with therapist, psychiatrists, treatment centers, or support groups. Once you input your zip code and kind of professional you are looking for, the website will direct you to a list of professionals in your zip code. You can modify that list by choosing your insurance company on the left side. You can also modify to pick a specialty- for example, anxiety, depression, LGBTQIA issues, etc. Once you find a provider that you like, call the office to schedule an appointment and make sure to verify that the provider takes your insurance/ask what the cost to you will be per session.
Search through Local Referrals
Check out our Local Referrals tab on our site, where we have listed several mental health clinics throughout the areas surrounding the Mercy College campuses.
Tips for Contacting the Provider
Once you find a provider, you should email or call them to verify if they take your insurance and to check their availability. When you speak with them, it is important to mention:
- Your name, phone number, and email
- The best time to contact you (When do you have time in between classes or a day off?)
- What days and times you are available for an appointment- most therapy sessions are 45 minutes
- How you found their information (Did a counselor refer you? Did you find them through your insurance?)
- A brief summary as to why you are seeking therapy (Anxiety? Depression? Changes in relationships? Grief? Eating habits?)
- If applicable, your health insurance provider and ID number
You also may want to ask them some questions to understand their practice. Below are example questions that may apply:
- What do you specialize in?
- Are you able to help me with addressing the issue that I am seeking therapy for?
- Do you take my insurance? If not, how much is each session?
- What would I do if I had to reschedule?
- Have you previously worked with young adults/ people with addiction/ men with Depression, etc ?
Counseling Center Hours & Contact Information
Due to COVID-19, The Student Counseling Center will be offering appointments through the virtual platform, Doxy.me. Appointments are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Virtual appointments are strongly encouraged although in person appointments are available if necessary.
Student Counseling Center Main Number (All Campuses)
To schedule a new appointment or for general inquiries: (914) 888-5150 or CounselingCenter@mercy.edu
Virtual Drop-In Hours
Students can also have a short, less than 20 minute conversation with a counselor without an appointment during Virtual Drop-In Hours every Monday- Thursday, 1 - 3 p.m. Go to the Connection Center on Blackboard for more information.
If you are having any thoughts of hurting yourself or dying, there is hope. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline
Email is not a secure form of communication therefore confidentiality cannot be assured.