Frequently Asked Questions

General Information for Incoming and Returning Bates Students 2023-2024



CAPS works within a short-term model of care. Students who are desiring or needing longer-term, regularly scheduled care are encouraged to either maintain relationships with home providers as state licensing allows, or seek out community resources. Maine-licensed providers can be found through your insurance or various directories such as Bates Thriving Campus that can be found here. Please read our FAQ / Services Provided carefully.


Psychiatry resources in Maine are limited, including at Bates. We highly recommend that students on psychiatric medication maintain relationships with their current providers, being seen on school breaks if possible. As we are a short-term service, including for psychiatry, we will at some point be referring you to community resources. We do not see students just for stimulant prescriptions and do not do ADHD assessments. Maine-licensed providers can be found through your insurance or online telehealth platforms such as Talkiatry. We encourage you to speak with your current providers about your treatment needs as soon as possible to provide ample time to transition care.

How do I make an appointment?

Click here for more information about scheduling. Contact us M-F 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 phone at 207-786-6200 or email us at to schedule an appointment. It’s helpful if you include your availability if sending an email.

How long does it take to get an appointment?

We see the vast majority of students on the same day you contact us or within a few days depending on your availability.

How does Same-Day Access Scheduling at CAPS work?

Bates students use Same-Day access appointments to meet with a counselor for a first-time consultation, to address a specific concern or need, or to schedule a follow-up appointment.  This stream-lined scheduling allows for much greater flexibility in scheduling appointments to address student’s concerns with greater immediacy and was adapted from Brown University’s Flexible Model of Care.

Does CAPS have session limits?

While we do not have formal session limits, we work with each student to come up with a treatment plan that best meets that student’s needs within the available resources at Bates. Some students will benefit from a one-time consultation while others might benefit from intermittent short-term counseling or referred to a confidential therapy group.

How does Bates CAPS utilization compare to other similarly sized schools?

In 2021-2022 CAPS saw 33% of the student body compared to similarly sized schools (<2500 students) who saw 15% of their student body. Bates average number of sessions was 7 sessions per student compared to 6 sessions at these other schools. 42% of Bates students were seen for < 3 Sessions, 55% were seen for <5 Sessions, and 75% of our students were seen for <10 Sessions.

Data from Association for University and College Counseling Directors, Annual Survey, 2021, reporting period June 1, 2020 – July 30, 2021.

What kinds of counseling does CAPS offer?

Most clinicians in CAPS are “integrative” which means they blend a variety of styles into their approach. All of us incorporate relational, social justice, trauma-informed, empirically supported, and culturally sensitive lenses into our work.

Does CAPS offer long-term therapy?

There are many different things people mean when they say “long term therapy.” Some common examples are one year of consistent weekly care for a defined problem, several years of once-a-month care for a chronic condition, episodic care where someone comes in for a few weeks or months over years with breaks in between, or biweekly sessions to check in and stay accountable on something, among many others. Given the high demand for services at Bates, students interested in weekly therapy sessions throughout the school year may benefit from a referral to an off-campus provider.

Can I see a CAPS therapist over the winter break or summer break?

CAPS is closed during winter and summer breaks.  Our clinicians can help you to find providers in the areas you’ll be during the breaks, beforehand, if needed.

I didn’t connect with my counselor, can I see someone else?

In most cases students connect with their counselor, but sometimes it’s just not a match. If that’s the case, we suggest talking through whatever the situation is with the counselor to see if it can be resolved. Otherwise, you can ask our front office to schedule you with someone else next time. 

Does CAPS offer medication services for students?

The short answer is that “we do”. The longer answer is “within the context of the academic semester and year”. Bates, like most colleges nationwide, does not have the staffing levels of psychiatric prescribers to meet all the needs of their students needing medication all of the time. Therefore, our full-time Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner can evaluate, recommend, manage and stabilize students on certain medications. Once stabilized, they will make recommendations for students to be followed by either local prescribers in the area, telehealth providers licensed in Maine, or even by their Primary Care Physician back home. This offers students the services to initially manage their symptoms, while also planning for the longer term continuity of care especially over breaks and the summer period to access medication. From an equity perspective, this approach also allows other students greater opportunities to access the psychiatric care they need as well to be successful at Bates. We do not see students only to manage stimulant medications. Students being seen by external therapists are encouraged to request psychiatric referrals from their therapists directly and/or to utilize their existing network through their health insurance.

I want to give you information about a student. Can you keep my call private from them?

We will always consult with students concerned about other students and help you refer the student to us. At the same time, while we will accept information we may not act on it unless it involves potential concerns of safety to self or others. In those cases, we may be required to contact Res Life, Student Affairs or Campus Safety to assess the situation to determine next steps, which may be an evaluation by CAPS or the local hospital depending on severity. We strongly suggest you share your concerns for them directly and encourage them to seek professional help if they are open to it. Since these are case-by-case situations, we cannot assure concerning information you share about someone else will remain confidential.

I want to schedule an appointment for a student. Can I do that?

Students need to schedule their own appointments at CAPS. Occasionally we can hold a specific time for the student and wait for them to confirm with us. If they are near you and you want to assist, you can call from your phone and after we pick up, you can hand it to them or put them on speak phone to schedule it.

I want CAPS to reach out to a student who I think needs your help. Can you do that?

CAPS does not do cold calls to students. However, there are some legitimate situations where reaching out for help from CAPS is stigmatized or culturally impossible. In those cases, we ask you to get the student’s permission for us to send an email invitation to them, which will also reference you. We also send an email inviting students to meet with us that we know have been to a hospital for psychological concerns unless they already have ongoing care with us or in the community. In cases where you believe a student may be having a mental health emergency, you should call Campus Safety at 207-786-6111 and ask them to do a welfare check.

Does CAPS provide competency evaluations for athletes, TAs, or other student activities?

CAPS does not provide competency evaluations for any of these things. We also regularly say that it is not advisable to restrict students from activities because of a mental health condition or symptoms, especially if that condition is not directly and objectively impacting their performance in that activity to a level that would warrant any other student without a mental health condition from being refused participation. 

Does CAPS do evaluations, assessments, and diagnosis for ADHD or learning disabilities?

CAPS does not offer assessments for ADHD or learning disabilities.  We can try to help you find providers in the area that do, or you can contact the Office of Accessible Education for referrals as well.

I have a suggestion for CAPS, who should I contact?

We always want to hear about ideas, concerns or suggestions for our office. We want to hear when we didn’t get it right, if we did get it right, or if you simply have ideas or suggestions. In all of these cases, write to us at, and someone, usually our Director, will respond.

Are there limitations to what CAPS can provide?

While CAPS offers an array of mental health services to the Bates student body, there are times when a student’s needs extend beyond the scope of services CAPS can provide.   CAPS reserves the right to refer in the following situations:

  • Students who require more than once weekly individual therapy for an extended period of time.
  • Students who have had extensive treatment in the past and need/expect extensive long-term additional treatment.
  • Students who require excessive utilization of crisis intervention.
  • Students who present a chronic, ongoing risk of harm to self or others, and whose symptoms do not respond to outpatient intervention or require specialized services.  This includes students with a history of multiple hospitalizations, chronic suicidality, homicidality, and/or a history of repeated suicide attempts.
  • Students presenting with a concern or disorder, that requires expertise or resources, not sufficiently available at CAPS.  Examples may include, but not limited to, mandated or court-ordered assessment and treatment, forensic assessments, and extensive treatment for eating disorders.
  • Students who are unable to maintain prolonged periods without treatment (i.e. academic breaks).
  • Students who are non-compliant with treatment, as defined by excessive no-shows, repeated stops and starts to counseling, and/or repeated requests to change providers.
  • Students who demonstrate harassing, menacing, threatening, or violent threats or behaviors toward a member of the CAPS team.
  • CAPS staff are available for a 1x only consultation session for Bates students outside the state of Maine for brief consultation, case management, and support/transition of care appointments via telehealth only.  Due to mental health professional licensing restrictions, CAPS clinicians are not able to offer therapy sessions to Bates students outside the state of Maine.