Services for Students | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
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Providing Direct Help

Our program provides direct help for youth in 4th through 12th grade who are referred for consultation and evaluation. The aim of the CATR program is to offer direct access to mental health care throughout the West Texas region through assessing youth who may be experiencing increased stress, anxiety, depression, or other concerns.

Caring for Students

The CATR program provides mental health assessment, referral, and treatment for students in need of mental health services. Assessments are completed by licensed professional counselors (LPCs) who provide care for students through an extensive interview evaluation at the school where the student is enrolled. 

  • Comprehensive screening tools are utilized 
  • Follow-up care available if need is determined

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 expert 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. This type of appointment is especially helpful for students who may require ongoing visits, either with telemedicine or in-person office visits. Read the information listed below for details on how our tele-psychiatry appointments take place. 

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
• HIPPA Compliance Information 

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

How it Works

The CATR program starts with a referral. Students who are referred to our licensed professional counselors (LPCs) will participate in an initial assessment with the LPC, the student and the student’s parent or guardian. The program’s success is measured by looking at a “before and after” of the following: student grades, attendance and tardies, and discipline.

Student Referrals 

The CATR Program starts with a referral. Students who are referred to our licensed professional counselors (LPCs) will participate in an initial assessment.

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

The initial assessment with the student, administered by an LPC, occurs at school or in a HIPPA compliant location. The assessment will involve the student’s parent/guardian and the student. The purpose of the initial assessment is to interview and evaluate the student, identifying possible mental health concerns or emotional disorders using specific, research-based assessment tools.

Screening Tools:
  • Structured clinical interview with the student and parent/guardian
  • National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) Vanderbilt ADHD rating scales. (Provided forms are intended for the student’s teacher and parent/guardian.)
  • Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (Provided forms are intended for the student and parent/guardian)
  • Irritability Screen
  • PHQ-A Depression Inventor
  • SAVRY (completed by LPC) 
  • Additional assessment tools may be used if indicated by student or parent/guardian response:
  • National Stressful Events Survey PTSD scale
  • Children's OCD Scale
  • ASQ-Suicidal Ideation Screening

Based on screening results from the initial assessment, individual students may be presented to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Department of Psychiatry for consultation and recommendations.

Follow-Up Care

These recommendations are presented to the student’s school and family. If the student is referred for psychiatric intervention, CATR establishes the tele-psychiatry appointments and returns to the school to provide necessary equipment and oversee the session. A second follow-up appointment may be scheduled and conducted. Following the scheduled appointment(s), a determination is made about further care.