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Sunday June 4th

CAPS aims to improve wait times, services for student mental health services

<p>Campus Health’s Counseling and Psychological Services is making major changes to better aid students.</p>
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Campus Health’s Counseling and Psychological Services is making major changes to better aid students.

CAPS has added four Masters in Social Work fellowship positions that will work similarly to internships, CAPS director Allen O’Barr said. The four new social workers will help reduce the wait time for students who walk in for appointments.

“The number of hours that we’ll actually have to see students in CAPS is going to remain the same, but the ability to see students who walk in for the first time is going to be increased,” O’Barr said.

The other change being made is better referral coordination for all students. When a student is referred to help outside the University, they will have the opportunity to come back in with CAPS and talk about their next move in the referral.

Elizabeth McIntyre, a referral coordinator for CAPS, said any student who comes into a walk-in appointment and is referred out will be given the opportunity to set up a referral coordination appointment or decline it.

“If they choose not to have a referral coordination appointment, they’ll be given a handout that talks them through what referral coordination is, ways that can help, things that can get in the way of getting connected,” she said.

McIntyre said their goal this year is to track students more during the referral process.

“We try to follow up until we know someone is connected, but we also don’t want to completely annoy and stalk people, so we usually follow up twice,” she said.

When students are referred, they can set up a referral coordination — a follow-up 30-minute appointment, usually within two weeks after their initial walk-in.

During this appointment, students and coordinators discuss insurance and costs of the referral, which provider will be a good fit and transportation to the provider.

Along with new staff and better services, CAPS is gaining more office space. Student Wellness has moved its primary location from the second floor of the Campus Health building to Suite 1310 in SASB South. Their move has given CAPS the second floor of Campus Health.

Dean Blackburn, director of Student Wellness, said they are excited to be in their new home.

“Over the last couple of years, both CAPS and Wellness have increased our staff based on the needs of the students on campus and as we have increased our staff, we have obviously outgrown the space we were each respectively in,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn said they have retained four consult offices in their previous office space on the second floor of Campus Health for private one-on-one conversations.

O’Barr said he’s pleased the big changes at CAPS are all working out.

“A lot of stuff came together right at the end,” he said.


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