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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

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The Flourish, May 2022: In Focus

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Accessing Mental Health Support Through CAPS - Where to start?

So, you begin to notice changes in your mood and behavior but are unsure of what this means, who to reach out to, and where to even go for support. As a student, it is common to hear “Reach out to CAPS” – Counseling and Psychological Services – but this conventional advice can be overwhelming for many, especially if it's your first time managing a mental health condition or interacting with a health care system. In addition, throughout the years, rumors about what it’s like to interact with CAPS have popped up throughout our community and as a result, this misinformation has prevented many of our friends and loved ones from connecting with the mental health care that could help in times of stress.  

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Accessing Support Through CAPS

To learn more about accessing support through CAPS, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the CAPS: Seeking Mental Health Support at Stanford. This handout was created by students to provide clarity and full transparency of the process to get mental health support through CAPS. As students, we know how overwhelming it can be. We hope that this handout will provide more detail as to what it means and looks like to get help through CAPS. 

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CAPS understand how hard it can be to reach out for help

The entire CAPS team is committed to addressing any obstacles that may keep you from getting the support you need — including misconceptions that students may hold about CAPS or its role on campus. 

Additional Details About CAPS

For starters, what is CAPS? 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is our community’s go-to support team for clinical-level mental health services. Individual therapy, group counseling, didactic workshops, informational consults, or psychiatric care are all available at CAPS. The main site is located in Vaden Student Health Services, but you can also access CAPS via zoom and at many community centers and departments across campus. It is important to note that CAPS is a confidential health service and accessing care has no influence whatsoever on academic, housing, or visa status. 

How can I access mental health support through CAPS?

Any student who has not been seen at CAPS previously can call 650.723.3785 between 9 am and 4 pm (PT), Monday through Friday, to schedule an appointment with a CAPS Connects provider. This 15-minute phone consultation appointment will help to inform CAPS staff of your needs and find appropriate resources and services. 

During this CAPS Connects phone call, a CAPS provider will listen to what you need and review appropriate resources and options with you, which may include participating in a group or workshop, consulting with a CAPS therapist, connecting with a community provider for specialized or long-term support, or consulting with a psychiatrist.

Students who have been seen at CAPS previously can send their provider a secure message through the Vaden Student Portal, or call CAPS to reconnect with their provider.

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Please know that our providers are deeply caring, committed and skilled — and are here to support any student who takes this initial step of reaching out.