Steps for Scheduling with an Off-Campus Provider

1. Verify insurance benefits

For questions regarding the cost of off-campus treatment and in-network providers, please contact your health insurance company directly. Most insurance cards list a phone number and website to obtain this information. It is helpful to ask about out-of-pocket costs for in-network and out-of-network outpatient mental health services, deductible, copays, and coinsurance.

2. Search for a provider

Off-campus providers can be found within the NC State Counseling Center referral database,  The referral database is alternatively accessible by visiting the NC State Counseling Center web page, selecting the ‘Resources’ tab and selecting ‘Counseling Center Referral Service.’  There are also additional national databases available to use.

  • Make sure the provider accepts your insurance and is taking new clients. You can do this by using the filters on a database to select your insurance type (ex. BCBS, Aetna). 
  • Be sure to review providers’ websites and personal profiles to see if they may be a good fit for you.

3. Schedule an initial appointment

  • Consider office location, insurance accepted, and any other characteristics that are important to you. Call or email your first choice for a provider.  You will likely leave a message. It is best to leave your name, phone number, and good times you can be reached by phone, as well as your insurance plan.  
    • Hi, my name is _____. I am looking to get connected to a provider for counseling and was referred to you by the NC State Counseling Center. My number is ____. I have BCBS/Aetna/Cigna. I can be reached anytime between 8a-4p. I look forward to hearing from you!” 
  • Wait for a callback or email! Be sure to answer calls from unknown numbers during this time!! If you haven’t heard back in two business days, call again, and/or choose another provider to call.
  • Please be aware providers can have a wait of up to several weeks or may not be taking new clients at that time, so it is important to start the process of scheduling as early as possible. You may need to try several providers to find one that fits your needs. Some psychiatry providers have up to a month’s wait.
  • Many providers now have a way to contact them from their websites and some even have direct scheduling options on their websites. 
  • When you connect, the provider may ask you to share a brief summary of your concerns. You are also able to ask them questions (i.e. “What is your approach to therapy?” “If a person is dealing with ____, how would you help them?”). If you aren’t sure they would be a good fit but want to assess further, you may ask if they offer a free consultation. It is also appropriate to ask, “Have you ever provided counseling to a college student?”

4. Reach out if you need help!

Finding a community provider can be challenging.  If you would like to have an NC State Case Manager assist you with this process, please contact our office at 919-515-2423. You may need to communicate multiple times with a case manager in order to link to a community provider.  Your wellbeing is of the utmost priority to the NC State Counseling Center. We are always available to assist any student.