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Getting Started at CAPS

First Steps

Welcome! To make an initial appointment, please call (434) 243-5150 during business hours. Appointments cannot be scheduled online.

  • If you have never been seen at CAPS, you will likely be scheduled for a brief screening.
  • If you have previously been seen at CAPS, please ask to be connected with your previous therapist.
  • If you need help but feel that you can’t wait for the next available appointment, please inform the CAPS receptionist that you are in crisis and ask to be connected to the Emergency Consult Therapist. If it is an after-hours emergency, please call (434) 243-5150 and ask to speak with the on-call CAPS therapist.

Brief Screening Process

The brief screening is the first point of contact for students with non-urgent concerns who are interested in using CAPS services. The brief screening is a 15-20 minute phone call that helps CAPS therapists understand why a student has contacted CAPS. This way, we can determine the urgency of a student’s needs so that we can best assist them in accessing resources and next steps. Students will be asked what they need help with and how their concerns are impacting their functioning. This includes things like sleep, energy level, academic performance, appetite, thoughts of self-harm or harm to others, and substance use. Based on that discussion, the student will receive a recommendation that could include:

  • Coming to CAPS for a same-day emergency appointment
  • Coming to CAPS for an urgent intake appointment within the next few days
  • Coming to CAPS for the next available standard intake appointment
  • Assistance with connecting to other UVA offices, a community provider, and/or recommendations for online support

Intake Appointments

Following their brief screening, students may be asked to attend an intake appointment at CAPS. This is an in-person meeting that lasts 90 minutes. During this meeting, the student will complete a questionnaire and a therapist will meet with them to discuss their needs. The student and therapist will consider possible ways to address the student’s concerns. This may include a recommendation to engage in group or individual therapy at CAPS, assistance with a community provider connection, and/or receiving a referral for a psychiatric evaluation.