Student Services | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
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Providing Direct Help

Our program provides direct help for children and adolescents who are referred for consultation and evaluation. The aim of the CATR: Supported by TCHATT program is to offer direct access to mental health care throughout our region in Texas through assessing children and adolescents who may be experiencing increased stress, anxiety, depression, or other concerns. 

Caring for Students

The CATR: Supported by TCHATT program provides mental health assessment, referral, and treatment for students in need of mental health services. Assessments are completed by mental health clinicians who provide care for students through an extensive interview evaluation at the school where the students are enrolled. 

  • Comprehensive screening tools are utilized. 
  • Follow-up care available when there is a need.

Why Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is an excellent way for youth to receive personalized, expert care for their mental health needs. This method provides convenient access to professional mental health services along with time and cost savings.

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About the Visit

Tele-psychiatry creates a setting similar to a regular doctor visit with the exception of location. The doctor and patient are in separate locations utilizing technology for the appointment. Parents can make appointments at school, reducing the amount of time students are out of class. T

Prior to telemedicine appointment, the following is given to the patient’s parent/guardian and the school:

• Consent for Treatment/Medication
• Confidential Communication Request and Identity Theft Protection Questions
• Telemedicine Consent
• HIPAA Compliance Information 

Details on equipment and patient encounter:
At the time of the appointment, the selected CATR-TCHATT staff will connect to CATR-TCHATT’s secure internet with the student’s file. The assigned psychiatry staff will conduct the appointment using video conferencing.

Each school is provided with an iPad to assist with virtual appointments for the students.  Additionally, schools receive a portable scale, a blood pressure machine with various size cuffs, and a stadiometer.  This equipment allows for current measurement of a student’s weight, blood pressure, and height to aid in appropriate assessment and/or treatment for the student.

How it Works

The CATR: Supported by TCHATT program starts with a referral by a counselor or other school official. Once referred, students will participate in an initial assessment with the licensed mental health clinician, the student, and the student’s parent or guardian. The program’s success is measured utilizing assessment scores and comparing initial assessment scores with follow-up assessment scores. 

Student Referrals 

The CATR: Supported by TCHATT Program starts with a referral from a school counselor or other school official. Once a parent authorization is received, students will participate in an initial assessment with one of our licensed mental health clinicians.

Possible reasons for student referrals include: 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self esteem
  • Self harm or suicidal ideation
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Multiple disciplinary referrals
  • Truancy 
  • Recurrent non-compliance with school staff
  • Frequent or intense mood changes
  • Problems with attention
  • Anger/Violence
  • Eating Disturbance
  • Trauma
  • Bullying
Initial Assessment 

The initial assessment with the student, administered by our licensed mental health clinicians, occurs through a HIPAA compliant telehealth forum. The assessment will involve the student’s parent/guardian and the student. The purpose of the initial assessment is to assess and evaluate the student, identifying possible mental health concerns by using specific, research-based assessment tools.


Based on screening results from the initial assessment, individual students may be presented to CATR: Supported by TCHATT triage team.  Each student receives personalized care as determined by the multidisciplinary team.

Follow-Up Care

These recommendations are presented to the student and the student’s parent/guardian. If the student is referred to the clinical psychologist or to the child and adolescent psychiatrist, the clinician will schedule telehealth/telemedicine appointment and send the parent and the school counselor (or other school official) an invitation for the appointment. The school counselor will help the student get set up for the telehealth/telemedicine appointment at the scheduled time. Up to four follow-up appointments may be scheduled and conducted in this manner. Following the scheduled appointment(s), a determination is made about further care. If extended care is necessary, additional sessions may be provided and a referral into a student’s community.