Services Provided at CAPS

You Are Welcome Here:

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) is committed to promoting inclusion. We strive to provide respectful treatment to students of every background and recognize the impact of oppression and marginalization on mental health. We value and embrace the richness inherent to the intersections of one’s race, ethnicity, nationality, heritage, gender identity and expression, sexual/romantic orientation, ability, religion/spirituality, age, socioeconomic status, body shape/size, as well as other personal and social characteristics. These intersecting factors which comprise an individual’s identity are important in guiding and enhancing the services we provide to our students. We will continue to be a safe and affirming space on campus. You are welcome here.


Update on Accessing CAPS Services

All services (individual, group, psychiatry, outreach/workshops, integrated behavioral health care) will primarily remain virtual (Tele-behavioral Health).

For Crisis Services: During business hours, in the event of a crisis, we ask that students call first and speak with the walk-in clinician. After 5 PM weekdays and on the weekends, students can call UGA PD at 706-542-2200 and ask to speak with a CAPS clinician.



Individual and Couples’ Counseling

CAPS provides short-term individual and couples’ counseling to UGA students and their eligible spouses. For individuals who would benefit from longer term counseling than CAPS can provide or who require specialized services, we provide assistance with transition of care to other on- and off-campus resources.

The first step in accessing CAPS services is to schedule a Screening appointment through the UHC Patient Portal or by calling the CAPS office at 706-542-2273. At the conclusion of the 30-minute Screening appointment with a CAPS counselor, service options and recommendations will be discussed. There is no charge for the Screening appointment.


Group Counseling

Research indicates that group counseling often is the preferred and most effective form of treatment for many concerns. CAPS groups provide participants with the opportunity to receive support, understanding, and insight from other students with similar concerns. Our groups usually meet weekly during the semester and are facilitated by CAPS clinicians in a confidential setting.

CAPS develops a schedule for group counseling at the beginning of each semester.
Please check the Groups Schedule for a list of currently available groups.Group counseling may be recommended for you during your initial Screening appointment, or there may be a group you have identified that you are interested in joining. Current clients may speak to their clinicians about joining a group. If you are interested in a group but never have been to CAPS or have not been to CAPS in at least six months, you first will need to schedule a Screening appointment which is the point of entry for all CAPS services.


Psychiatric Services

CAPS offers evaluations for psychiatric medication and medication management to eligible individuals who may benefit from medication. Clients are not required to take medication, and not all clients need medication.

If you are interested in pursuing psychiatric medication at CAPS please note that the wait time for an initial appointment may be several weeks.

Current Clients:

If you are a current client and are interested in psychiatric services at CAPS, you may speak to your clinician about the process of scheduling an appointment for a psychiatric evaluation and whether medication may be beneficial in your treatment. At times CAPS clinicians may recommend a psychiatric evaluation to their current clients.

New Clients or Returning Clients:

If you are interested in psychiatric services but never have been to CAPS or have not been to CAPS in the last 6 months, you first will need to schedule an initial Screening appointment. During the Screening appointment, a clinician will discuss with you whether scheduling a psychiatric evaluation is appropriate. Please be aware that a referral to an off-campus psychiatrist will be facilitated if counseling is recommended by a CAPS clinician and you are not interested in participating.

Transferring Medication to CAPS:

If you already are prescribed psychiatric medication from a provider outside of CAPS you may be able to transfer your medication management to CAPS. Transfer of medication is not permitted without first having an initial Screening appointment. Individuals who are interested in transferring medication should maintain a relationship with their current care provider and an adequate supply of medication as this process could take several weeks.

ADHD Medication

CAPS Psychiatric Services can start treatment for ADHD or continue an existing treatment plan only for individuals who can provide CAPS with documentation that meets the requirements established by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

More information about the required documentation for ADHD Medication

CAPS cannot prescribe stimulant medication for ADHD without the required documentation.

Transition of Care to Community Providers:

CAPS offers transition of care assistance to off-campus psychiatric providers if it is determined that we cannot meet your psychiatric needs. Examples include, but are not limited to, eligible individuals who:

     
  • Require ongoing psychiatric stabilization, intensive treatment, complex medication management, or specialized services.
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  • Have longer term or specialized counseling needs that cannot be met by CAPS.
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  • Already have an established relationship with a psychiatric provider outside of CAPS and do not plan to transfer all psychiatric care to CAPS.
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  • Want to begin or transfer psychiatric treatment for ADHD and do not have the required documentation.


Crisis Intervention

CAPS provides crisis services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for urgent situations If you or someone you know is thinking about harming yourself or another person, cannot keep themselves safe, or is in so much distress you are unable to function in daily activities, these services may be appropriate for you.

During regular business hours, students in crisis can access these services by calling CAPS at 706-542-2273 to speak with a clinician. Crisis services do not require a scheduled appointment and students do not need to be an established client to access this service.

We recognize that students may experience crises during times that our center is closed. We offer after-hours emergency services that are available nights, weekends, or holidays, if needed. To access these services, CAPS may be contacted by calling the UGA Police Department at 706-542-2200 and asking to speak with the CAPS on-call clinician.

There are also other crisis and after-hours resources available. If you or someone you know needs support, several resources include:

  • National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
    • Spanish: 1-800-273-TALK, Press 2
    • Military Veterans: 1-800-273-TALK, Press 1
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)
  • LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386-7)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741

    • Free, 24/7, Confidential
    • How it works: Someone texts into the Crisis Text line anywhere, anytime, about any type of crisis and a live, trained specialist responds. That specialist helps the person through confidential counseling and providing referral information.

Other Local Emergency Mental Health Resources:

  • Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL): 1-800-715-4225
    GCAL provides 24/7 crisis intervention and referral information for Georgians in need.
  • GCAL Text and chat:
    My GCAL app: Individuals can text and chat with behavioral health professionals in Georgia through the app 24/7.
  • St. Mary’s Hospital ER
    1230 Baxter Street, Athens
    706-389-3000
    www.stmarysathens.org/services/emergency-care
  • Piedmont Athens Regional ER
    1199 Prince Avenue, Athens
    706-475-7000
    www.piedmont.org/emergency-services/emergency-home

Additional After-Hours Medical Resources can be found on the Health Center’s Emergencies and After Hour Care page.


Transition of Care to Community Resources

CAPS provides short-term counseling to UGA students and their eligible partners. For individuals who would benefit from longer term services or for those who may require specialized services, we provide assistance with transitions to a number of community resources - both on & off campus.

CAPS recognizes the costs and courage that it can take to ask for help.  We also acknowledge the emotional labor involved in accessing quality mental health care. That is why we have built a team of Case Managers to aid in making this transition as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

You might benefit from working with a Case Manager to find an alternative resource if you:

     
  • Could benefit from ongoing psychiatric stabilization and complex medication management.
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  • Need more intensive treatment than CAPS can provide.
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  • Would benefit from specialized services that are not within the expertise of CAPS clinical staff members.
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  • Prefer longer-term mental health support.
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  • Already have an established relationship(s) with provider(s) outside of CAPS and do not plan or desire to transfer care to CAPS.
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  • Prefer referrals to other resources during high-demand times of the semester when there may be a wait for CAPS services.

Our Case Managers will walk alongside you throughout the course of the referral process. Together, we will explore a variety of referral options and will assist you in connecting to the care that you are so deserving of. To schedule an appointment with a Case Manager, please contact our front office at 706-542-2273 and request to schedule a “Transition of Care” appointment. 

To learn more about providers & resources in the community, please visit our online referral database at uga.rints.com. Here, you can search for providers who may be a good fit for you and your needs.

Do not hesitate to contact The CAPS Case Management Team at 706-542-2273 with any questions or concerns. We look forward to supporting you in this process in whatever capacity feels most appropriate for you.


#BeWellUGA Programs and Workshops

The University Health Center conducts free wellness and prevention workshops through #BeWellUGA. Find a listing of all of the current workshops, including those offered by CAPS. Please check often as the list of available workshops changes periodically.

CAPS offers programs to the University of Georgia community that primarily emphasize education, prevention, and early intervention. Programs that we offer are intended to provide a proactive focus while disseminating knowledge and reducing mental health stigma. They may include but are not limited to:

     
  • UMatter for Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention (in collaboration with Health Promotion).
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  • Identification and referral of distressed individuals.
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  • Information on specific mental health issues and topics.
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  • Education about CAPS services and the process for accessing services.

CAPS welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with faculty, staff, and student groups in the development of programs to meet particular needs. Please visit the CAPS: Outreach Services page for further information. If you are interested in scheduling a CAPS program, please contact the CAPS Outreach Coordinator by phone (706) 542-2273 or complete the Project Request Form. We suggest that you make your request at least one month prior to your intended program date. Please keep in mind that fulfillment of program requests is contingent upon staff availability and expertise. CAPS clinical staff members do not provide informational interviews or meet with students in order to satisfy the requirements for an academic or related assignment.


Consultation Services

Consultation services are offered to the University of Georgia campus community and are an integral part of what we do at CAPS. Our professional staff offers this service in the form of established liaison relationships with other offices across campus and as requested by faculty, staff, students, and concerned others. CAPS consultation services provide an opportunity for our staff to extend our mental health expertise outside of CAPS and offer assistance regarding concerns that include, but are not limited to:

     
  • Making referrals to CAPS.
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  • Suggestions for identifying and helping distressed individuals.
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  • Recommendations for responding to specific situations.
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  • Discussion of concerns prior to an individual coming to CAPS for services.
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  • Continuity of care and timely exchange of important information.
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  • Referral to appropriate resources both on campus and in the local community.

Mental health records are confidential under law in the state of Georgia. We can receive information from you once an individual becomes a client at CAPS, but information cannot be provided by our office unless a client gives us written permission to do so by signing a Release of Information form. Without such a release we can neither confirm nor deny that a specific individual is receiving services at CAPS. Exceptions to confidentiality may occur only under certain circumstances. These exceptions include serious immediate threat to the life or welfare of the individual, of another person, or to the campus community.

If you would like to consult with CAPS, during regular business hours you may contact our office at (706) 542-2273 and ask to speak to a walk-in clinician or a member of the CAPS leadership team. For after-hours crisis consultation you may contact the UGA Police Department at (706) 542-2200 and ask to speak to the CAPS on-call clinician.