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 As the result of an external review conducted over the summer, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is making changes that will allow students to obtain access to needed mental health services more quickly and efficiently. The changes include the addition of a counselor position and a new, telephone-based assessment process.

Earlier this summer two evaluators—one the current director of a counseling center at a larger institution and one the former director of a counseling center at an institution similarly-sized to Ithaca College—reviewed materials provided by the college, including articles and opinion pieces published in The Ithacan, and then spent a day on campus talking with a variety of people, including

·         the Director and staff of CAPS;

·         the Associate Provost for Student Life;

·         faculty members selected by the Chair of Faculty Council;

·         students selected by the President of Student Government Association; and

·         President Rochon and Provost Rifkin.

The reviewers then made several recommendations on ways that CAPS can better meet the needs of our students, including how we can increase the number of hours available for direct student counseling.

As a result, the college approved the creation of a new post-doctorate resident position. This individual will assist in delivering mental health services and programs to include intake and assessment, individual and group psychotherapy, crisis intervention, consultation and referral, and educational program delivery. The position is currently posted on the Human Resources website, and we hope to fill it as quickly as possible.

Additionally, CAPS has instituted a new, telephone-based brief assessment system. Students who call or walk in with a mental health concern will be given an appointment to talk by phone with a counselor, who will conduct the assessment.

The demand for CAPS services has been increasing in recent years. The telephone screening allows our clinicians to more quickly identify urgent and high-risk issues in order to be certain that those students receive rapid help. There’s no paperwork to fill out first, and you don’t even have to leave your room—all you need is your phone and some privacy.

In the brief assessment, the counselor will inquire about different aspects of your current difficulties in order to understand your situation. At the conclusion of your appointment, the counselor will provide you with a set of follow-up recommendations that may involve referral to one of several different group therapies or workshops, brief individual psychotherapy, and/or referral to an outside provider.

For more information or to schedule a brief assessment phone call, contact CAPS during business hours at 274-3136. As always, if it is after hours and you feel like you are in crisis and your own efforts to manage it are not successful, you can contact the Office of Public Safety (on campus) at 274-3333 or the Tompkins County emergency dispatch center (off campus) at 911.

The CAPS website is in the process of being updated, and will shortly have more detail on this new system. We will continue to assess our policies and procedures and monitor the outcomes, to ensure that we are best meeting the needs of the campus community.

Deborah Harper, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Counseling, Health, and Wellness


New Position and New Assessment Process Will Improve CAPS Services for Students | 0 Comments |
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