FAQ

All information that you choose to share is confidential. Information you provide will not be released to anyone outside of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) without your written permission. However, counselors are required to share information to maintain the safety of you and/or others if you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or someone else. CAPS staff are also required to report any suspected abuse of a child, elder, or dependent adult. In rare circumstances, CAPS staff may have to release information if court-ordered to do so. However, clinical staff has a professional obligation to protect your confidentiality and will seek out legal guidance prior to release of any clinical documentation.

Nothing! All services are FREE for registered students.

CAPS provides individual, couples, and crisis counseling, as well as consultations if you are concerns about someone else. Individuals seeking couples counseling must both be students at UCM. In addition, we plan to offer a number of groups this school year.

Your number of sessions depends on your presenting concerns but most people are seen on a short-term basis.

Anything! Common reasons students seek counseling include (but are not limited to): difficulty managing stress or anxiety; concerns about depression; difficulty with academic advisors or other faculty members; relationship concerns; and difficulty balancing academic and personal obligations.

Chances are, if they’re seeing you, you’re also seeing them! It is likely that any other student who sees you in the waiting area is also here to get assistance with a health or counseling-related concern.

For the most part, employers are not allowed to ask if you have been in counseling, and future employers will not even know that you attended counseling unless you tell them. There are a few very specific exceptions to this (i.e., if you are applying for a job in law enforcement or for a government agency that requires high security clearance) but you will be informed during the application process in these situations.

Simply call CAPS at (209) 228-4266 or stop by the Counseling Center to make an appointment.

If you are a registered student, you can be seen at CAPS. Students who are not taking classes during the summer or who might have graduated in May and will still be around for the summer can also be seen but only until the beginning of the following fall semester.

If you are considering medication intervention, you can schedule an initial appointment or consultation at the UCM Health Center with one of the primary care physicians. The physician will refer you to the psychiatrist if they determine that is the best treatment option for you. Currently the Health Center offers tele-psychiatry appointments (similar to Skype) so students can access psychiatric care locally. The tele-psychiatrist is a licensed psychiatrist who provides the same community standard of care including consultation, assessment, and if needed, prescription of medication.

If students have Kaiser Permanente medical insurance they can be seen in the health center for consultation but will likely need to seek prescription services through their insurance.

If you or someone you know are experiencing a medical emergency or are in imminent danger of hurting yourself or someone else, call 911 or UCM Police at 209-228-2677. If you feel that there is no imminent danger, CAPS offers crisis services. Students who feel they are in crisis are encouraged to come to CAPS during business hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. M-F) or call our crisis line after business hours at 209-228-4266.

Students can absolutely ask for a referral, however, there are limited services in the Merced community. There are referral lists at the CAPS front desk for those interested. Students are also encouraged to contact their health insurance companies so that they can be sure that their off-campus services are covered.

Certainly. CAPS offers consultation services with students, faculty, staff, and parents regarding concerns about other students. Counselors are available to meet with you in order to provide guidance on ways that you can help your friend as well as information about on-campus services. In addition, often times it can be distressing to see a friend in need of help so counselors are also there to provide you with support.

CAPS is located on the first floor of the Recreation and Wellness Building, just underneath the health center. The physical address is:

Recreation and Wellness Building, First Floor,
5200 N. Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343

Yes, unless you fit specific criteria and are evaluated as being in crisis. You can call CAPS at 209-228-4266 in order to schedule an appointment. Please know that depending on the volume of services being provided at the time you call, you may have to wait before being able to see a therapist; therefore it may be most helpful to contact CAPS as soon as possible.

In most circumstances you must be a registered student in order to receive services at CAPS. However, students who graduated in May or who are not taking classes during the summer and will still be in the Merced area can be seen at CAPS through the summer until the start of the fall semester.

CAPS office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you feel as though you are in imminent danger of taking your life, please contact 911 or 209-228-2677 (UCM campus police). You can also go to your nearest medical center (in Merced this would be Mercy Medical Center). Students who are feeling suicidal but do not feel that they are in imminent danger of taking their life are encouraged to come to CAPS immediately so that they can be seen by a crisis counselor. If calling after hours, students can contact CAPS crisis line at 209-228-4266.

Students who feel they are in crisis and need to speak with someone at night or on weekends can contact 209-228-4266 in order to speak to a crisis counselor.

Call (209) 228-4266 in order to speak with our clinical staff about your concerns. Although the staff cannot reveal any information regarding clinical services provided to an individual, we are more than willing to listen to your concerns and may determine that contacting the student is necessary. In some cases, parents, faculty and staff do not want the student to know they have reported concerns to CAPS. If this is the case please notify CAPS staff in order to maintain anonymity.

All of our clinical staff have doctoral level clinical training in the field of psychology.

For the most part services focus on short-term interventions; however, students are not denied services which may require long-term interventions.

No, this information is confidential and can only be disclosed if the student receiving services consents to release information.

Yes. However, depending on the degree of abuse or addiction, you may be referred to other community resources.

No. Students request services for a variety of issues such as lack of social support, adjusting to college and/or new environment, and family concerns.

Students are usually scheduled with the next available therapist whose schedule coordinates with the client’s schedule. If you have a preference (e.g., female or male clinician) you can make that known to administrative staff and they will do their best to accommodate your request.