CAPS takes a goal-focused and collaborative approach to mental health services. Essentially, we help students improve their lives by focusing on the change each individual person wants to make, and we then use our expertise to help them achieve it. We strive to provide immediate, meaningful help focused on what your needs are right from the very first meeting, and we have a range of follow up options available for you to choose based on your unique situation.
Your first visit will be a 25-minute meeting that will usually be scheduled the next day after you contact us. During that meeting, your provider will focus on learning about your mental health goals and meeting your immediate needs, and will then make a recommendation about next steps (another meeting at CAPS, following up as-needed for the next one, helping you connect with treatment specialists near where you live, or other offices on campus, etc).
Students tell us that they usually need between just one meeting and up to a few months of meetings to reach their goals. We have found that students that are able to dedicate more time and energy to working on their mental health outside of the meetings usually have quicker and better results.
Scope of Services
We are mindful of the types of things we are equipped to help with in our center, which is referred to as our “scope of scervices.” Generally, CAPS offers individual mental health services for students:
- To help with a wide-range of mental health concerns.
- When our goal-focused approach is likely to be or has shown to be effective,
- When the student is freely choosing to access our services,
Connecting to Off Campus Treatment
Although we assist the majority of students that look to us for assistance, there are some limitations in what we can provide (things that are outside of our scope of practice). This is when we help connect students to other sources of care, often by helping you identify providers that you would be interested in seeing, and offering assistance in how to make those connections. In general, student concerns are outside of our scope of practice when:
- Our goal-focused approach is likely to be, or has shown to be inadequate, ineffective, or harmful,
- The student can be helped more by another office, service, or specialist on or off campus.
- The student's counseling needs are best met by therapists that offer exploratory, or supportive care, often "long-term"
- The student needs formal face-to-face treatment services or higher levels of care (partial program, inpatient treatment, etc), more frequent meetings, or specialized services that CAPS does not provide.
We also typically help connect students to other resources when rare situations arise such as when there are frequent no-shows or scheduling challenges, when students are already in the care of a treatment provier off-campus, when the student has been mandated to services or coreced by someone to see a CAPS staff member, when the safety of the CAPS staff is in question or there has been interpersonal violence against a staff member, or when a student is misusing medication prescribed by CAPS, among other situations.
If there are concerns related to being able to afford formal treatment in the community, we can help you connect to university resources that may be able to help cover the cost of treatment. The Assistant Dean for Financial Advising is our primary source to contact.
Urgent Care & Crisis Stabilization
All students enrolled at Brown are eligible for urgent care and crisis stabilization services. In situations where you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or someone else, or when there is a situation you are experiencing that needs immediate care, please use one of these urgent care options.
Confidentiality basically means a very high level of privacy. CAPS is one of the few offices at the university that are a confidential resource. Your privacy and our records are protected by state and federal laws, as well as our providers’ licensing rules and professional ethics, all of which hold very strict standards on maintaining confidentiality. Before your first meeting with us, you will read a form that details our confidetiality practices, and you are welcome to contact us in advance if you have questions about this aspect of our services.