Scheduling an Appointment
Step One: Telephone Screening
If you are new to UGA or have not been seen at CAPS within the last six months, we will ask you to complete a telephone screening. During the telephone screening you will speak with a clinician for approximately 10-15 minutes. The purpose of this preliminary assessment is to assess your concerns and evaluate your needs.
Telephone screenings are available each weekday between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. During the telephone screening you and a CAPS clinician will briefly explore your reasons for seeking services. The clinician will ask questions about your current concerns, prior mental health history and treatment, your reason(s) for contacting CAPS, and your goals for counseling and psychiatric treatment.
The clinician conducting the telephone screening will determine whether CAPS' services and short-term model will meet your needs. Referrals to campus and community agencies or mental health providers may be made at the time of the telephone screening if you are in need of longer-term treatment or specialty services not offered at CAPS, or if there is a high demand or delay in accessing our services. If you are appropriate for CAPS' services, you may be scheduled for an initial consultation appointment to further assess your needs and direct you to services at CAPS or to services on campus or in the community.
In-person brief screenings are available upon request for students who are hard of hearing or who have speech disabilities or auditory processing issues that would make a telephone screening difficult.
Step Two: Initial Consultation Appointment
Following the telephone screening, if CAPS' services are appropriate for your needs, you will be asked to come to CAPS thirty minutes prior to your scheduled initial consultation appointment to complete clinical questionnaires.
The initial consultation appointment is a time for you and the clinician to explore your concerns and needs in greater depth and discuss your goals for treatment. Although some concerns can be resolved during initial consultation, others require more time to address. When additional counseling is appropriate, you and the clinician will decide which resources currently available at CAPS, on campus, or in the community will best meet your needs. If a decision is made to continue therapy at CAPS beyond the initial consultation, you will likely meet with a different therapist.
Appropriateness for CAPS' services is based on a number of factors, including client need, fit with CAPS' brief therapy model, and current availability of clinical resources. At CAPS the care we provide is delivered in a short-term model in order to address their mental health concerns. We strive to make efficient use of our resources in order to be available to the large student population we serve. However, at times the request for services exceeds our capacity to serve.
During periods of peak demand, students may be referred to other campus resources, community mental health providers, or may experience a delay in accessing counseling or psychiatric services after the initial consultation appointment.
The clinician conducting your initial consultation appointment will provide referral information and provide support until appropriate mental health care is established or you are no longer in need of services.
An initial consultation appointment is required to participate in group counseling and to access specialty services at CAPS (e.g., medication/psychiatric evaluation; eating disorder, alcohol and other drugs, or AD/HD assessments).
Please be aware that you will be charged a fee if you fail to keep or do not cancel an initial consultation or other scheduled appointment by 5:00 pm the working day prior to the appointment.
Step Three: Additional Treatment Recommendations
After the initial consultation appointment additional treatment at CAPS or referral to a campus or community mental health provider or agency may be recommended.
Treatment options available within CAPS include:
- individual counseling
- group counseling, structured groups, or workshops
- couples counseling
- psychiatric evaluation and medication management
- psychological testing
- audio/video educational materials and relaxation exercises available in the CAPS Relaxation Room or on our website
Because CAPS staff provides services that are short-term, a student in need of more intensive, long-term counseling or specialized treatment may be referred to a community mental health provider. Unfortunately, there are times when demand for services exceeds the resources available, necessitating a referral to a campus or community mental health provider, even when students are within our scope of service. Decisions regarding access to care are based on the fit between your psychological and psychiatric needs and the scope of services we provide. If a referral is suggested, we will supply you with a list of providers on campus or in the community and help facilitate your transfer to the appropriate referral option. The cost of campus and community mental health services is not included in your student health fees. Your counselor will discuss options for additional treatment, taking into consideration your insurance coverage and financial situation.
Crisis: During and After Hours
CAPS provides brief interventions for crisis or emergency psychological situations such as debilitating psychological conditions, thoughts or intentions of harming self or others, unexpected death or loss, and sudden or severe trauma. Immediate interventions will focus on increasing understanding of the situation, normalizing feelings, managing severe stress, making decisions, and planning for the future. If additional psychological and psychiatric care is needed, either at CAPS or another agency, the CAPS clinician will assist you in obtaining this care.
During regular hours, you may contact CAPS at 706-542-2273 and speak with the walk-in clinician or come to CAPS for a walk-in appointment. Students who come to CAPS for walk-in for services will be asked to complete clinical questionnaires prior to seeing the walk-in clinician.
For after-hours mental health crises, the on-call clinician may be reached by calling the UGA Police at 706-542-2200. Services will often be delivered over the phone. Although the UGA Police may ask for information from you when you call, you are not required to disclose confidential information to them in order to access crisis services.
After speaking with a walk-in or on-call clinician (during or after hours), the clinician will discuss treatment options and may provide support until appropriate mental health care is established at CAPS or on campus or in the community or you are no longer in need of services. If hospitalization is required, the crisis walk-in therapist or on-call therapist will either help arrange this or recommend that you go to a local emergency room.