Behavioral Health Guidance

Tips for Managing Your Behavioral Health Diagnosis

Just as important as managing your physical health, staying on top of diagnosed mental health conditions is a major step into adulthood. Understanding your diagnosis, managing medications, and asking questions of your care provider help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Use these helpful tips to better manage your behavioral health diagnosis:

  • If you are 18 or order, we encourage you to establish your own Patient Portal account so you can access your medical records, make appointments, request medication refills, and message your provider confidentially when you need us. You can also conduct video visits with your physician while you are away at school. Learn more about UPMC Patient Portals.
  • It’s important to schedule routine medication checks with your provider every few months. Often young adults stop their medications on their own or are misinformed about their medications. This can lead to major adjustment issues. It’s important to not make any changes in your health care routine until you speak with your physician.
  • If you are high school senior that has a history of any behavioral health issues such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, substance use, etc., we strongly encourage you to make a transition appointment with your physician before heading off to college. This visit can be done in-person or via a video visit. During the visit, your physician will help you to:
    • Establish a plan for taking and adjusting medications and what to do if you miss a dose.
    • Establish options for counseling while away at school, if needed. College counseling centers are often not equipped to handle the care delivered by your physician or behavioral health therapist at home. We can help you to establish a care plan that is right for you before you leave home.
    • Establish communication guidelines and a future appointment schedule between you and your physician.
    • Discuss interactions of substance use and medications as well as repercussions of stopping your prescribed medications without first talking with your physician.