Given the changing environment of college mental health, CAPS is always experimenting with new initiatives to improve access and client care, or offer new services. Below are a few of the current pilot programs we are conducting, and updates on past labs.
CAPS Anti-Racism Task Force
To expand on our stated commitment to anti-racism, Dr Laura Sobik is taking the lead on an internal task force designed to operationalize the statement as it relates to students.
Webform for Scheduling
For Fall 2020 we are adding a new method for scheduling a CAPS visit. Right from our website students can make an appointment request and provide other scheduling information, and can watch their email for a prompt appointment time confirmation.
Virtual Coffee with CAPS
We will be offering our popular meet & greet program virtually on a recurring basis throughout the fall. Basically this is a place to meet a couple CAPS staff and ask questions or just say hi. The schedule for the fall is below. Please email us at [email protected] to RSVP!
Website for Finding Community Care
We have added a website to make it easier for students who are looking for providers off campus to navigate that search.
DBT Skills Group
CAPS occasionally hears from students interested in Dialecticaly Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which is an empirically support treatment for a range of mental health concerns. Given that, we are offering our first ever DBT skills group this spring. If you are interested in being a part of it, visit out Groups page for more information.
CAPS has developed a psychiatry residency placement to increase prescribing capacity and interface with students being prescribed psychiatry medication at Health Services. This person will work out of Health Services, and is supervised by a CAPS clinician, and will work to start students on medication or stabilize medications, and then help the student transition back to their usual provider.
Grad Student Access
We are piloting a process to have times available each day dedicated to grad student access. The student experience of this should be seamless, but it is part of our package of efforts to build more programs for graduate students.
Quarantine Check In
We are outreaching to each person that has an experience in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. This will let someone opt-in for another contact to set up couseling services while separated from the community.
As an effort to make it even easier to have services on campus, we are extending our hours beyond 5pm most days of the week. We are hoping that this time change will be especially helpful for students that have time zone differences making access difficult, or other significant scheduling challenges.
CAPS has a syllabus statement that faculty can add, and it is available here: https://www.brown.edu/sheridan/teaching-learning-resources/inclusive-teaching/statements. We encourgae faculty to add it to expand the knowledge about mental health resources on campus.
Successful Previous Labs
These programs were previously a CAPS Lab, and were successful, so we continue doing them!
Phone Counseling All Day Everyday (Spring 2020)
This ended up being a crucial part of our COVID-19 work, and will continue to be an option. "We are experimenting with making CAPS After Hours available all day even when we are open. So if you are interested in talking with someone but can't make it to the office, or you prefer talking from another location, just call and ask us to talk to someone on the phone and we will make that happen. "
Trans Health Training (Spring 2020)
This was a very well done and well received training that has updated our practice. "In January, CAPS staff did a comprehensive training related to trans student health from Stephanie Budge, PhD. This was important for all CAPS staff to stay be on the forefront of research and social justice knowledge."
Coffee With CAPS (Spring 2020)
This event was a big success and we will be offering it virtually for Fall 2020. "We have been hearing that our team doing more meet and greet type events would be good. So we are working with Underground Coffee to offer a rotating 'Coffee With CAPS' meet and greet with different staff members each week, and the coffee on us."
Improved Printed Materials (Fall 2019)
Although many of the folks in CAPS, as well as students, are working to become paperless, there is still a demand for printed materials. We worked with Brown Comunications to design more engaging an informative materials to help students, parents, faculty, and stuff to know about our work, and the feedback on them was good.
Website Improvements (Spring 2019)
--Frequently Asked Questions Page: Based on a student suggestion, we started a FAQ page on this website. We will be refining and adding to it throughout the spring.
--List of Previous Outreach and Community Programs
Based on student interest in the programs, workshops, and events that we organize and take part in, we have started listing a selection of what we do for each semester in a running list. This can be viewed in the Outreach section of this website.
--Improved Information About Counselors
Based on student feedback, for Spring 2019 the entire staff re-wrote biographies to be easier to read, and highlight some special parts of their work. We aim to have complete pictures up by the summer.
Undoing Racism (Winter 2019)
In January, all CAPS staff took part in an immersive two day anti-racism training, facilitated by The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. Throughout the spring we will be reflecting on how this training relates to our work with students and community building work on campus. Updates on programs from this training will emerge as future Labs.
CAPS Student Consultation Board (Fall 2018)
We have brought together a small board of student consultants to advise us on things we should be attending to, direction for the center to go in, and to provide feedback on ideas we have to improve care. The inagural board is made up of Project LETS and Active Minds leadership, and the board for 2019-2020 will be determined later in the Spring.
SEAS Accommodation Evaluations (Fall 2018)
CAPS views making accommodations accessible for students with psychiatric disabilities from a social justice lens. CAPS has always had a process of providing documentation for disability accommodations if treatment has been unsuccessful or the level of severity is at the level of a disability. Given this, we experimnted with creating an additional pathway for students that are not interested in treatment to have an opportunity for CAPS to do a disability evaluation. The original effort was in having meetings with students to learn more about the situation and see if CAPS could do an evaluation. Students found the meeting to be unnecessary and could be accomplished on a form. Given that, we have a CAPS Disability Evaluation Request Form taht students can request from our fornt office. Someone in CAPS reviews the form and determines if CAPS can do the requested type of evaluation. If we can, then we set up a time to do it. And if not, we work to help the student find resources to meet their needs. experimenting with a more streamlined approach for students coming to CAPS for SEAS documentation. Additionally, CAPS is not equipped to evaluate and diagnose ADHD, and rarely is involved in housing accommodation requests (living off campus, etc).
B.E.A.R. Project (Fall 2018)
For several years Brown CAPS taught a suicide prevention program called QPR, and trained over 1000 faculty and staff. The next evolution in that work is the B.E.A.R. Project, which is focused on helping faculty and staff engage with students who may be in distress. Check that section on this website to learn more about when you can be a part of it.
Fast Track (Spring 2017)
This is our program to help students, only needing one or two sessions with us, be scheduled into open clinical time in providers' schedules sooner than our Consults allow for. This is a good option to quickly get tools, tips, and direction to address things that are troubling you, or have a focused single session of care. It is also a good option to manage any other type of contact you need to have with CAPS (help connecting with care off campus, checking in at someone's request, following up after an outreach or hospital visit, learning about whether CAPS is right for your care, getting documentation filled out, learning how to help a friend, etc). There are usually no follow ups planned after these sessions, but you can always schedule another one in the future. These sessions are 25-minutes, and are scheduled by saying you only want 1-2 sessions when you are scheduling. They will also be offered in an email to you once we see what our open availability is for a coming week if you are booked out further than that.
Same Day Sessions (Fall 2017)
CAPS is offering a limited number of sessions that can be booked the same day of the appointment. These 25-minute meetings are scheduled for many times during the day, Mon-Fri. Sometimes follow-up appointments are scheduled after these, but many students elect to continue using this type of appointment for their care. These are ideal if you have something time-sensitive to discuss, or just want to discuss anything with a clinician and want a more flexible approach for your scheduling. To book one, call us and ask for a "Same Day appointment." The usually sell out before noon each day, although sometimes later.
Shopping Period Walk-In Clinic (Fall 2017)
For both Shopping Periods during the 17-18 year, CAPS offered all sessions the same-day as that students wanted them. These are all 25-minute sessions that could be reserved by call us that day, or just dropping in between 9a-4p. This allowed us to see a larger number of students during shopping period than in the history of the center, and will be something we will continue going forward.
Finals Weeks Walk-In Clinics (Fall 2017)
Similar to the shopping period clinic, we will be experimenting with something similar for the last two weeks of the semester. Beginning on reading week, and going through the end of the semester, we will have all staff available for appointments between 9am and 4pm, with the last appointment starting at 4pm. These are all 25-minute sessions that can be reserved the same day the person wanted to come in, or by just coming in and asking for one.
These are things we tried but they either didn't work, or had difficulty getting off the group for certain reasons.
Identification at Events (Spring 2020)
We wore our IDs at a few events to mixed reviews, and have not been able to do so since the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be up for another experiement sometime after the pandemic. "Recently we have been hearing that there is interest in CAPS members wearing identification (like a name tag) that indicates they are CAPS staff, rather than having them organically participate in events and community spaces. So this spring we will be having our staff wear nametags at events they are at and in other spaces on campus when appropriate."
Anonymous Feedback Form (Spring 2020)
This form continues to be avallable on our main website, but it has not been used yet (has been available for 5 months as of this writing). "We have been hearing student input that although many students know they can communicate with us if there are concerns and have them addressed, that some students will not use that channel. The suggestion was for an anonymous feedback form on our website, which you can now access on our front page, or here."
CCAPS at Check In (Fall 2019)
We are regularly experimenting with our forms that students complete before sessions. We have transitioned to using a short version of an instrument called the CCAPS that will help providers track progress better, and it will also allow us to know what types of sessions and routes through our center produce the best outcomes. Although there was good clinical utility, it was too much for students to do each time. Going forward we are administering the longer version every 4th week, and using a much briefer instrument each session instead.
RPL Support Group (Fall 2019)
We attempted a support group for RPLs based on interest and feedback. In the sessions we attempted, there was no attendance from RPLs, so we cancelled the group.
Wellness Life Hacks (multiple tries, Spring 2019)
This is a series of workshops where we teach our greatest hits: sleeping better, managing difficult emotions, burnbout prevention, and mindfulness. Check our "Groups" section to learn how to be a part of it. (This was in our Labs for Fall, but we pushed it to Spring).
Update: The interest in these doesn't seem to be present. Very few students actually wanted to come. We may try it again in the future if there is more demand.
Stepped Care for Medication Magement (tried Fall 2018)
Original Idea: In Fall 2017 Health Services started prescribing psychiatric medication in partnership with CAPS psychiatrists. For the coming year, we are going to experiment with doing stepped-care where students with more significant concerns will first meet with a psychiatrist (a specialist), and then step down to a primary care provider when they are stable on the medications. This should increase the number of students that can receive specialist care at CAPS, and also speed up follow up and refill appointments for students already in our care.
Update: Communication and scheduling practices need some refinement behaind the scenes to make this work better. Our offices being in separate locations is also a complication. We will try this one again in the future.
Self-Scheduling (tried Fall 2018)
Original idea: We are going to be doing a trial of online self-scheduling for our popular same-day appointments. Each morning at 8:30am will already open up our phones, doors, and email to book sessions, so we will be doing the same through a portal for same-day sessions (there are on average 12 a day available).
Update: The software we use for our scheduling system was unable to accommodate our needs here. If we change that at some point, or if the company that we contract with updates the process so that it could work for our unique system, we will try agan.
Let's Talk (tried 2016-2017)
Original Idea: We had clinicians stationed around campus throughout the week for drop-in conversations as a way to be more accessible.
Update: Almost no one used these apointments and it took a lot of time away from clinical work that made the wait for sessions increase.