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Counseling and Psychological Services

FAQs regarding the Brief Screening Process

What is a brief screening phone call?

It is our way of efficiently determining the seriousness of your needs so that we can take appropriate next steps to address your needs. The brief screening process also allows CAPS clinicians to quickly identify urgent and high risk issues in order to be certain that those students receive rapid help.

What kinds of questions will I be asked during the brief screening phone call?

You will be asked about what you need help with, and about your recent functioning.  This includes things like sleep, energy level, academic performance, appetite, thoughts of self-harm or harm to others, and substance use.

What if I need help but feel like I can’t wait one or two days for my brief screening?

If you feel as though you may hurt yourself or someone else, or you feel like you are in crisis and your efforts to manage it are not successful, share that with the front office receptionist when you first call.  You will then be connected to the emergency clinician.

I've been told that CAPS services are confidential.   Is my brief screening phone call also confidential? 

The same confidentiality guidelines for CAPS services also apply to the brief screening process.  For a more detailed overview of CAPS confidentiality, click on this link - CAPS Confidentiality Guidelines.

If the outcome of my brief screening is that I am scheduled to be seen at CAPS, what will happen in that first appointment at CAPS?

The clinician you see will inquire about different aspects of your current difficulties in order to understand your situation.  At the conclusion of your intake, the clinician will provide you with a set of follow-up recommendations.  These may involve brief individual psychotherapy or a referral to one of several different group therapies or workshops available for students through CAPS.  Sometimes psychotherapy is augmented by the prescription of psychiatric medication.  If your intake clinician feels medication may be worthy of consideration, he or she will also discuss those options with you. 

The CAPS webpage mentions possible referrals to providers outside of CAPS.  Might I be referred out based upon the brief screening discussion?

Yes, CAPS clinicians frequently refer students to outside providers. CAPS uses a brief therapy model (from 1 to 8 sessions), which is sufficient to address most students’ concerns. However, in some situations a student will need or benefit from more than brief therapy. In these instances careful consideration is made regarding the student’s capacity to seek care in the community and referrals to outside providers may be made. In instances where the student is in crisis or does not have sufficient resources to secure care in the community a student may be seen at CAPS for a longer duration.

Are there any specific preparations I should make prior to the brief screening phone call? 

Yes. It would be helpful to make sure you are in a location where you have a sense of privacy and relative quiet, as well as an adequate cell phone signal.  If you are taking medications of any kind, it would be good to know their names and doses.  Lastly, having health insurance information, including mental health coverage if possible, will allow the screening clinician to best meet your needs.

What if I miss my scheduled brief screening?

Call our front desk (243-5150) and reschedule the phone call ASAP.

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