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Counseling and Psychological Services

Harrison Brown "Tersh" Smith Jr. Memorial
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Diversity Mission Statement

We, the staff at CAPS recognize that cultural factors as integrated into the developing self are crucial to healthy emotional and psychological functioning within this university setting. Such factors include but are not limited to gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, geographical affiliation, spiritual identification, ability status and age. We further understand that the university experience may be disproportionately stressful for individuals with particular cultural identifications due to the reality of complex dynamics that exist between groups within institutions.

Our staff strives to appreciate the intersections of cultural factors, individual developmental history, family background, personal and distinct internal dynamics, biological factors, and specific problems in living in order to provide treatment that reflects a comprehensive understanding of each individual.

CAPS endeavors to achieve this mission by:

  • Promoting increased cultural knowledge, understanding, and expertise of CAPS staff in regard to treating individuals of varied ethnic origin, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, geographical affiliation, spiritual identification, gender, ability status and age.
  • Supporting the mental health of university students by offering targeted outreach and consultation to those at particular risk for problems in living at this university or those who traditionally would not readily seek mental health care, due to the increased stress associated with a sense of marginalization or lack of “voice.”
  • Providing substantive cultural training to pre-doctoral psychology and social work interns regarding the complex interaction between cultural, familial, biological and psychological factors in the treatment of individuals and groups.
  • Consulting and advising university groups whose missions similarly include supporting the mental health of diverse students.
  • Actively and intentionally recruiting trainee and staff candidates from a widely diverse applicant pool in an effort to increase staff diversity such that a greater range of “voice” is heard within CAPS and the “face” of CAPS appears more welcoming to the diverse groups of students at UVA.

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