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Getting Started at CAPS

Making an Initial Appointment

To make an initial appointment, call (434) 243-5150 during business hours and let the receptionist know you are interested in our services.

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, it is best to ask to be connected with your previous provider.

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 Clinician. If it is an afterhours emergency, please call (434) 243-5150 and ask to speak with the on-call CAPS counselor.

Brief Screening

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 clinicians understand why a student has contacted CAPS. It is our way of determining the urgency of a student’s needs so that we can assist them in accessing resources. 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 within the next few days
  • Coming to CAPS for the next available standard intake
  • Assistance in connecting to other UVA offices, a community provider, and/or recommendations for online support

To schedule a Brief Screening please call (434) 243-5150 during business hours.

Note: If you are scheduled for a brief screening at the Law School your brief screening will take place in person. Law students should go to Dr. Gibson’s office in Slaughter 135C. 


Following the Brief Screening the student may be asked to attend an Intake appointment at CAPS. This is an in-person meeting that lasts 90 minutes. During this time the student will complete a questionnaire, and a counselor will meet with them to discuss their needs. The student and counselor will consider possible ways to address the student’s concerns. This may include a recommendation to engage in group or individual counseling at CAPS, being assisted in connecting with a community provider, and/or receiving a referral for a psychiatric evaluation.