**CAPS is continuing to serve all enrolled students at this time via Telehealth**
As we enter Fall 2021, our plan at CAPS is to see students in person as soon as is possible.
We had hoped to provide such services at the beginning of this semester but recent developments have caused us to update our procedures. Specifically, new guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a national regulatory agency, have impacted how we have students enter and utilize our building and counseling spaces. Provider offices are located in the same building as the Ithaca College Healthcare facilities and both Healthcare and CAPS have been asked to "de-densify" the building as much as possible. This means limiting the number of students who are coming into our building for purposes other than medical assessment. Students exhibiting possible symptoms of COVID will be evaluated and treated by our Healthcare staff and, while we have established up-to-date and approved procedures for this, we want to limit any potential exposure for students who are coming to CAPS offices and not for medical evaluation. Therefore, we will continue to primarily use Telehealth services for counseling and psychiatric appointments at this time. We are providing private, confidential, spaces on campus for students to talk with their counselors via our encrypted HIPAA-compliant ZOOM platform if they need alternatives to their room or other spaces. We are able to provide all of our treatment services through Telehealth that we normally provide. Our counselors will be on campus and available for in-person intervention in the case of an emergency or the need for a crisis response.
We expect that any surge of COVID cases that the Ithaca-area experiences this Fall, as a result of the re-opening of our College and that of our sister institutions in Tompkins County, will lessen as the semester proceeds. We will continually evaluate safety protocols and our plan is to return to in-person services as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. We are in continual consultation with our Medical Services Director, Dr. Ellyn Sellers-Selin, on this issue.
All CAPS providers are licensed to practice in New York State and all of our services must be conducted in compliance with state licensing requirements. However, with the growing acceptance of Telehealth as a platform for services, it may be possible for New York resident students to continue to see their existing counselors and psychiatric providers from home. There may be no need to interrupt these relationships with the transition to College. This is especially recommended if a student wants to maintain weekly, long-term treatment with a provider as we are not able to provide this service consistently at CAPS. We recommend that parents and students discuss whether it is possible/advisable to continue these treatment relationships while at school. If so, this may be a preferred alternative to having to change providers as school starts. If a student is interested in continuing to see their existing provider, we can provide the same confidential spaces described above for that meeting. Students are asked to call CAPS to reserve a space if needed.
If you are interested in starting or continuing services via Telehealth**, please call during business hours for more information. Please make sure to leave a voicemail if you do not reach a live person. You can also reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**-What is Telehealth? Telehealth is like meeting with your therapist, but done through a private virtual connection via Zoom meeting.