How does Same-Day Access Scheduling at CAPS work?

Bates students can use same-day access appointments to meet with a counselor for the first time in an academic year, schedule one-time consultation appointments for a specific concern or need, or schedule a follow-up appointment with a counselor you have previously worked with.  Simply email CAPS@bates.edu or call 207-786-6200 to see what times are available that day and to schedule.

Why has CAPS changed the way students schedule appointments?

In response to students’ needs to be seen sooner, as well as continuously increasing demand for our services, CAPS will now offer same-day access appointments beginning in fall 2021. This stream-lined scheduling not only provides more access but allows for much more flexibility in scheduling appointments. 

How long does it take to get an appointment?
We have spots reserved every weekday during the normal academic year for same day access that students can schedule by emailing or calling after 8:45am and asking for them (on a first-come, first-served basis). The wait to get an appointment can be anywhere from literally no wait at all to a few days depending on the student’s availability. 

How many sessions can I have at CAPS? 
We do not have a session limit, so it really depends on your needs and availability.

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, and empirically supported lenses into our work. Additionally, we intentionally describe our work as “treatment” rather than “support.” CAPS is here to help you get better and improve your life so that ideally you would not need continuous care from a professional. 

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. Many students can access long term care at CAPS in one of these formats.

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. 

I want to give you information about a student. Can you keep my call private from them?
A lot of people see CAPS as a resource for helping students and as a place to share information about them. Whereas we always welcome conversation and can offer consultation to help you refer the student to us, just sharing information can be tricky. We will accept information, but often will not take any action on it unless it is a potential emergency. In those cases, we will call Campus Safety to find the student and take them to a hospital for an assessment. Otherwise if you are just looking to consult on how to help someone, or look at options for support at the university, we can usually help without getting into much specific detail. However, if you are just wanting to share something with us that is not an emergency just so we are aware, before doing that we strongly suggest you a) tell the student you want to call and what you want to share, and b) ask their permission. We do not assure privacy of your information from the student, and depending on the level of significance of the information, we make a note in the student’s chart that is their legal right to see if requested, and will also often share details about information that came to us about them. 

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 CAPS@bates.edu, 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.

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.

What other sources of support are available to students on campus?