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Getting Started

When you are ready to make a first time appointment at CAPS, you have several choices to request to schedule a first-time appointment:

  • Call us: You can call (858) 534-3755 and schedule a first-time appointment
  • NEW! Online: You can request a call-back to schedule an appointment through MyStudentChart
    • Having difficulty finding time calling us? You can submit a request online for a call-back during specific times to schedule your first-time appointment
  • Visit us: You can come to our Central Office at Galbraith Hall 190 and request to schedule a first-time appointment.

All routine first time appointments will be scheduled for a Brief Telephone Assessment (BTA) with a CAPS counselor. Brief Assessments are done remotely by phone: Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm PST.

Note: If you are in crisis and in need of immediate assistance, please contact CAPS at 858-534-3755 (select Option 2 outside normal business hours). For life threating emergencies, please call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.

Overview of CAPS Services

Other Resources / In the Meantime

Resources / In the Meantime

Please review other service options below. These also may be explored in the initial assessment.

As always, please call us wth questions about the process at (858) 534-3755.

What Happens in a Brief Assessment?

Brief Assessments

  • This 5-15 minute confidential and free evaluation will be scheduled within 5 business days. You will be asked to briefly describe the nature and history of your concern. The counselor will help you find the best service for your needs.
  • At the end of the Brief Telephone Assessment (BTA), your telephone counselor will recommend the best services for your needs. CAPS is focused on assisting students with problems typical of undergraduate and graduate students that can be managed with brief treatment.
  • If you require assistance that is within the treatment guidelines of CAPS then your telephone counselor will schedule you for an Initial Evaluation with a CAPS Psychologist.
  • You may request a specific staff person on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or location, but it will possibly mean a longer wait until an appointment becomes available.
  • If your needs would be best served by a specialist, by longer term or by frequent treatment, or if you have a chronic or long term mental health problem, then CAPS will assist you in finding a suitable off-campus professional in the community.


After your Brief Assessment

After Your Brief Assessment

After your Brief Assessment, your counselor will work with you and recommend you to one or more of the following services:

  • Initial Evaluation at CAPS
  • Referral to CAPS resource(s)
  • Referral to campus resource
  • Referral to outside counseling and/or psychiatry

If you have any questions about the recommendation(s), please discuss with your Brief Assessment counselor. Below are instructions if you are referred to an Initial Evaluation at CAPS.

Initial Evaluation

If you are scheduled for an Initial Evaluation after your Brief Assessment, the following instructions apply:

One day before to your first appointment:

  • You will receive a text message with an appointment reminder (if you opt-in for text reminders). If you wish to opt-in to text reminders, please call our Central Office at (858)534-3755 or go to the secure MyStudentChart portal to change your preferences.
  • The afternoon before your scheduled appointment, you will receive an email directing you to MyStudentChart to complete the required forms. This process includes three steps: Forms, Questionnaire, and Surveys. Please complete all three sections described in detail in the portal instructions. The forms take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.
  • For more information on our eForms, please click on the eForms tab on this page.

Complete online forms/paperwork before your appointment:

  • Please have all your online forms/paperwork complete PRIOR to your appointment. Completing the online forms immediately before your meeting will reduce the amount of time you will be able to speak with your counselor. If you have any questions about the forms, please call (858)534-3755.
  • For first-time appointments, the following forms, questionnaires, and surveys need to be completed prior to your appointment:

    • Compliance Forms: (1) Information & Consent Form; (2) Receipt of Notice of Privacy Practices.
    • Student Questionnaire
    • Survey(s): PHQ, GAD, and PERMA 
  • If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call (858)534-3755 or cancel online at MyStudentChart. To avoid a late cancellation charge of $20, please cancel your appointment more than 24 hours in advance.
At Your Initial Evaluation
  • The Initial Evaluation will last approximately 50 minutes. Your psychologist will ask you about your reason(s) for seeking counseling, and will get to know you by asking about your personal history, social relationships, educational goals, and expectations for counseling.
  • At the end of the Initial Evaluation, you and your psychologist will formulate a counseling plan. CAPS is focused on assisting students with problems typical of undergraduate and graduate students that can be managed with short-term counseling. If you require assistance that is within the treatment guidelines of CAPS then additional on-campus individual appointments and/or group counseling will become part of the plan.
  • If you can best be helped by longer term care, or if you have chronic mental health problems, then CAPS will assist you in finding suitable care in the off-campus professional community.
  • CAPS offers structured workshops on such topics as building social skills, managing stress and improving body image. We also offer a wide variety of groups and forums, which may be focused or general, open-ended or time-limited, drop-in or attended by the same people each week. For more information on groups, workshops and forums, visit our Groups page.
  • If you are unsure whether to start with an individual meeting with a psychologist, or by joining a group or workshop, we suggest making an appointment with a psychologist first, and then collaboratively deciding on the best course of action.

Referral Services

Referrals to Outside Providers

CAPS offers referral services to students who would be best helped by longer term care, or for those with chronic mental health problems.

For students with the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP):

  • Your counselor will write a referral to receive services with an outside mental health provider.
  • Your counselor will provide you with several names from providers within the SHIP network. You will need to select a provider and inform your CAPS counselor as soon as possible.
  • If you select a therapist outside the SHIP network of providers, you may incur higher out-of-pocket costs.
  • Your referral is valid one year from the date of the original referral. You may request renewals should you need additional treatment beyond one year. It is recommended that you contact CAPS to write a renewal BEFORE your original referral has expired. This will reduce any gaps between referrals and reduce possible out-of-pocket expenses.
  • For more information about SHIP and mental health coverage, please go to the SHS Insurance page or contact the Insurance Office at (858)534-2124.

For students without SHIP:

  • CAPS does not write referrals for students who do not have SHIP.
  • Your counselor will work with you to coordinate a referral based on your private insurance guidelines.
  • You will need to obtain your insurance coverages and processes for mental health and discuss these with your CAPS counselor. This information can often be found on your insurer's website.

Online Appointment Services with MyStudentChart

MyStudentChart Online Services


With MyStudentChart, students can:

  • Online scheduling first time Brief Telephone Assessments (BTA)
  • View/Cancel Appointments online
  • Send a Secure Message to your Provider
  • Receive Referral authorization letters from your Provider
  • Note: there is no online scheduling for Initial Evaluations or Follow-Up visits
  • If you wish to reschedule an appointment: 
    • To reschedule an Initial Evaluation, please call 858-534-3755
    • To reschedule a Follow-Up visit, please send your provider a secure message through MyStudentChart