Stepped Care Approach

The Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being utilizes a stepped care model to deliver services to students. This means that students are provided with the most effective, least-intensive type of treatment that will best meet their individual needs. When a student meets with a counselor for the first time the counselor and student will work together to create a plan and determine the most appropriate course of action to resolve the presenting concern. This initial plan can change down the road as a student's needs increase or decrease. 

Students are not limited to one option in the stepped care model and often times may benefit from utilizing several options offered. The aim of the Center is to assist and support students in achieving their mental health goals through a brief, solution-focused approach and allow students to enter or exist services as needs arise or resolve. 

Our approach to services traditionally meet the needs of our students; however, there are instances in which a student's needs may lie outside the scope of care provided by our staff, at which point the student may be referred to services outside of our office. Outlined below you will find reasons why a student may be referred to a community provider, which is discussed with the student during the initial screening or as the clinician sees fit at a later point.

When might a student be referred to a community provider?

Mental Health Services is not always able to effectively address some students’ presenting needs. Some of the concerns that are commonly addressed through referral to services outside of our office include, but are not limited to:

  • A student’s desire for long-term, weekly individual appointments.
  • A clinician’s determination that a student is in need of more comprehensive, intense services that are beyond those that can be safely provided by the University’s providers. Typically these include one of the following:
    • History of multiple mental health hospitalizations.
    • Chronic thoughts of suicide, frequent self-injurious behaviors, or history of repeated suicide attempts that are not alleviated by the services provided by the University.
    • Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning that requires intensive intervention.
    • Exhibiting psychotic symptoms without a willingness to follow treatment recommendations.
    • Inability or unwillingness to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms.
    • A need for drug testing or court-ordered treatment that cannot adequately be provided by Michigan Tech Mental Health Services.
    • The presence of significant or long-standing eating disorder symptoms with no period of remission or that may pose a medical danger.
    • Request for a full psychological assessment (e.g., ADHD or psychoeducational evaluations).
Stepped Care Model