Counseling and Psychological Services
Information for Faculty and Staff

Information for Faculty and Staff

  • Faculty and staff interact regularly with students in a wide range of educational and campus settings. This provides opportunities to get to know a student, observe her or his usual personality and behavior, and to develop mutually respectful and trusting relationships. This section is designed to assist you during those occasions when a distressed or distressing student comes to your attention

    First, we describe CAPS' services, including our consultation services for faculty and staff. Secondly, we provide tips on how to recognize signs of student distress and offer suggestions regarding how to intervene, including referrals to campus resources. Please remember that we regularly provide consultation to faculty and staff who are concerned about a particular student or more general psychological, behavioral and mental health issues impacting students. Contact Us.

    Description of CAPS

    Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a range of services, including crisis intervention, diagnostic assessment, therapy and support groups, brief individual and couples' therapy, referral sources and limited psychiatric evaluations and medication management. Due to the number of students seeking services, CAPS uses a brief therapeutic framework and offers referrals for longer term psychotherapy and for more specialized clinical needs. The number of sessions is determined on an individual basis. Our licensed psychologists and counselors also provide consultation to faculty and staff regarding students of concern as well as campus mental health issues.

    When a student crisis or psychological emergency occurs during office hours, you may call CAPS for assistance and then walk the student to our office. We will attempt to respond promptly, however, CAPS is an outpatient counseling center not an emergency service. If all professional staff are in session with other students, you may be asked whether the student is able to wait until a counselor is available. For emergencies requiring hospital care, please contact Campus Public Safety.

    On evenings and weekends, CAPS staff is available to provide emergency consultation. Contact Campus Public Safety at 206.296.5990 to request that they contact the CAPS on-call consultant.

    When to Make a Referral for Psychotherapy

    • The problem is more serious than you feel comfortable handling.
    • You experience conflict between your professional role with the student and providing extensive personal support.
    • You are either extremely busy, or are experiencing stress in your own life, and are unable or unwilling to handle other requests for help.
    • You have talked to the student and helped as much as you can, but further assistance is needed.
    • You think your personal feelings about the student will interfere with your objectivity.
    • The student admits that there is a problem, but doesn't want to talk to you about it.
    • The student asks for information or assistance that you are unable to provide.

    Let the student know your reasons for making a referral (e.g., lack of time, conflict of interest, limited training), emphasize your concern for him or her, and recommend getting help from an appropriate source. It may help the student to know that you support his/her desire to seek help.


    All CAPS' clinical services are confidential: no information is released without the student's permission, unless required by law. This means that we cannot tell anyone, inside or outside of the University, that the student is receiving CAPS services unless the student gives us written authorization to do so.

    If you are concerned about the student, contact him/her directly to ask if s/he has followed through with the referral. If you would like confirmation or follow-up from CAPS, please ask the student to sign an authorization to release health information. While mental health confidentiality is very strict, exceptions exist in case of imminent danger to self or others, child abuse, elder abuse, court order, etc.