Welcome to CAPS. We’d like to introduce you to our office and tell you about the services
we offer. We hope this video answers questions and lets you know what we can do for
Students come to CAPS for all sorts of reasons. While some have a mental health diagnosis, like an anxiety or depression related disorder, others come to develop strategies to help them cope with life. And some students need help connecting to another resource, on or off campus, and CAPS is here to help them too. All of this is free of charge for students enrolled in on-campus courses and we are a confidential service. This means we cannot, and will not, talk to faculty, other staff, your friends, or your family without your consent.
CAPS staff includes licensed mental health providers and other graduate level clinicians under the supervision of licensed staff. We all have experience and expertise in working with university students. To meet our staff, check our staff bio page on the CAPS website.
We are committed to helping students’ achieve their personal and academic goals and enhancing their experience while at WCU. While it is important that we talk to friends and family to receive support, and we want you to do that, there are times we just can’t talk to people close to us. sometimes we need additional or outside support.
So how do you know when you need CAPS? Maybe you recognize that your concerns are getting in the way of living your life in the way you want to. Maybe you’ve tried several things or you don’t know what to try. CAPS has an anonymous screening tool called “Check Up from the Neck Up” on our website that will help you determine if your recent thoughts or behaviors may be associated with a common, treatable concern.
When you are done, you will receive some recommendations about the next steps you can take, like connecting with available resources or following up with a mental health professional.
While you are on the website, check out our self-help page. We’ve created a video series with handouts to best help WCU students navigate common concerns. We also have a resource called COPE, an educational workshop series aimed to help students with emotional and relationship concerns.
You might not be sure what you need from CAPS or what we offer. We provide individual therapy, group therapy, case management, referrals for medication evaluation, and connection to resources on and off campus. While all of these services are offered in person at CAPS, some are also available virtually.
Situations can arise that need immediate attention. When this happens, CAPS offers crisis services. These are available all day every day even on the weekends and holidays. We provide same day crisis appointments Monday through Friday between 8AM and 4:30PM. You can schedule this by walking into CAPS or by calling our main line 828-227-7469. For crisis services after hours, on weekends or holidays, please call the main line, again that’s 828-227-7469 and press “0” when prompted and you will be connected directly to the crisis counselor.
We are located in the Bird Building on the 2nd floor above Health Services which is diagonally across from Chili’s, on the hill across from the McKee building.
Let’s take a brief look at getting started with CAPS.
If you decide you want to talk to a counselor, the best way to get in touch is to give us a call at 828-227-7469. Our front desk staff will get your name, 920 number, and date of birth to set you up with an appointment that works with your schedule. You’ll also have the option to tell us your pronouns and name you choose to go by. We’ll ask you to complete some paperwork before the appointment to help us know more about you and what you are looking for. This first appointment typically lasts about 20 minutes and can be in person or over the phone; you and the counselor will work together to explore options that will be most helpful for you.
So now that you have an appointment and completed paperwork, let’s see what meeting with one of our counselors looks like.
Jay: My name’s Jay, I’m one of the psychologists at CAPS. Are you Nina?
Jay: Ok I think I’m meeting with you next. Yeah so I’m here to do your first appointment so if you just want to follow me over to my office we’ll go ahead and get started. Nice to meet you.
Nina: Nice to meet you.
Jay: So like I said my name is Jay. I’m one of the psychologists here at CAPS. He/him/his are my pronouns. So what I wanted to go through is just kind of what we are going to be doing today as part of this initial appointment. So my understanding is this is the first time you have seen us here at CAPS, is that right?
Nina: Oh yes.
Jay: Ok well thank you for giving us a try. I’m really glad you decided to work with us. So since this is your first appointment, what we are going to be doing today is I’ll be asking you some pretty standard questions that we ask everyone as part of the initial visit. And the information you provide me, we will be talking for about 15 or 20 minutes or so. The information that you provide me will help you and me come up with some recommendations as far as like resources or services we can get you connected with. That could include working with me; that could include working with one of my other colleagues here; it could include connecting you with some other resources on or off campus, but you and I are going to kind of figure out in this meeting what might be some good next steps after today that we can kind of collaborate with you on. So do you have any questions about what it is that we are going to be doing in this first meeting?
Nina: No, no questions.
Jay: Ok. One other thing that I like to review with people as part of this initial visit is just some reminders about confidentiality and how that works. I know you reviewed all of our paperwork and read through our policies when you were filling it out before this appointment, but basically the way I summarize it that whatever we talk about here is considered confidential and I won’t be sharing that outside of CAPS. There are a few potential situations where I might have to share information outside of here and those are just some things I wanted to review with you. So for example if I became concerned about your immediate safety or safety of others or like the safety of the entire campus those might be potential situations where I might have to share your information outside of our office. Another situation might be if we were required to release your records in a court of law, or if we became aware of any ongoing abuse or neglect of a child, elder, or person with a disability. Or if we needed to coordinate care with another health care professional, especially if you had an emergency. Those could be other potential situations where I may have to share information outside of CAPS. And so we just wanted to make sure you were aware of that upfront before we go any further.
[narrative voice over picks up and continues to show video of Jay and Nina talking]
Some of the things you may be asked in the session appointment are how long and how frequently have you been experiencing your symptoms? What coping strategies do you use right now? Tell me a little bit about your relationship with sleep, food, exercise, and substances. We will also ask you questions about your experiences with suicidality and self-harm.
There are concerns that can be addressed with time, social support, and community. The university uses a holistic approach to support student wellness and has a variety of facilities, programs, and services in place to support a healthy and balanced lifestyle. You may find natural support with our campus partners, like
o Intercultural Affairs or ICA
o The Dean of Students Office
o Health Services
o The Office of Global Engagement
o Mentoring and Persistence to Success, or the MAPS office, for first generation and independent students
o The Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) for accommodations
o The Center for Career and Professional Development or the CCPD
o Campus Recreation and Wellness or the CRW
o Residential Case Manager for students living on campus
o Or using Engage to connected with university clubs and organizations
We want you to know that we are here for all WCU students and that we are supportive and confidential space, that we pursue connection with all members of our community, strive to eliminate barriers, challenge harmful systema and work toward equity for all.
Thank you so much for watching. If you still find you have questions about CAPS and our services, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page on the website. If you don’t see an answer to your question there, you can call us on Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM at 828-227-7469.
There were no actual CAPS’ clients recorded or used in this video. Special thanks to Haylee Jerard, Catamount Wellness Ambassador.
The CAPS staff were involved in the narration, acting and production of this video.
Thanks to our campus partners for contributing photos and videos.
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