Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

Have an urgent mental health concern or emergency? Please visit our Emergencies page for 24/7 resources.

CAPS provides compassionate, confidential and inclusive mental health care to registered UAlbany students. All services are covered by your tuition and fees. 

 

Make an Appointment with CAPS 

Current students can schedule an appointment with CAPS, using these options: 
 

appointments
Schedule your first CAPS appointment online (available 24/7)

You can schedule an appointment online if any of the following apply to you: 

  • This is your first appointment ever at CAPS. 

  • You haven’t seen a CAPS counselor since June 1. 

  • You’ve met with a CAPS counselor but want to switch to another CAPS counselor. 

Be sure to have your student ID number and your schedule handy. 

Note: You can also schedule your first appointment by calling CAPS at 518-442-5800 during our business hours.

Schedule any type of CAPS appointment by phone (available Monday to Friday)

You can schedule any type of appointment by calling CAPS at 518-442-5800 during our business hours

This includes scheduling appointments for individual counseling, couples counseling, psychiatry, STEPS, pre-group or case management. Review our services to learn more.

Be sure to have your student ID number and your schedule handy when you call. 

Drop into a Let’s Talk consultation (available Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday)

The Let’s Talk service gives you access to a 15- to 20-minute consultation with a CAPS clinician at convenient locations on campus. The service is often used by students who: 

  • Aren’t sure about counseling and wonder what it’s like to talk to a counselor 

  • Aren’t interested in counseling but would like a counselor’s perspective 

  • Have a specific problem and would like to talk it through with someone 

  • Have a concern about a friend and want advice on what to do 

Let’s Talk is available during the fall and spring semesters when classes are in session.

There may be a short wait while we talk to another student. If we have already reached capacity that day, please visit Let’s Talk another day or use the instructions above to schedule an appointment. 
 

Fall 2022 Let's Talk Schedule 
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays in the Arena Level Office A35 inside SEFCU Arena (Uptown Campus) 

  • 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays in University Library Office 94 inside the Educational Opportunity Program suite (Uptown Campus) 

  • 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays in the Student Affairs Suite Room 114 at the School of Public Health (Health Sciences Campus) 

Download maps of our campuses.
 

Note: Let’s Talk is not the appropriate CAPS service if you’re experiencing an emergency or if any of the following apply to your situation: 

  • Thoughts of harming yourself or others, and/or a recent suicide attempt 

  • Engaging in dangerous or high-risk behaviors, such as impulsive behaviors or an increase in substance use 

  • Unusual thoughts and/or behaviors, such as hallucinations or loss of touch with reality 

  • Recent traumatic experience, such as an assault, accident or death of a loved one 

In these cases, please refer to our Emergencies page.

Consult with CAPS  

CAPS offers free consultations to students, parents, families, faculty, staff and other campus community members who are concerned about a UAlbany student or who have questions about CAPS and its services. 

Contact CAPS at 518-442-5800 or [email protected] to request a consultation.  

If it’s an urgent situation, call 518-442-5800, then ask to speak to a psychologist and let us know it’s urgent. After hours, select Option 2 to speak to a mental health professional. For further guidance, please refer to our Emergencies page

 

A CAPS counselor smiles as she sits in her office speaking with a student.

 

Available Mental Health Services

Your first appointment with CAPS is typically a 15- to 20-minute phone conversation with a clinician.  

You’ll discuss the reason(s) you’re seeking mental health services and what kind of services you’re interested in. Then the clinician will recommend next steps — whether that be services with CAPS or a referral for community-based care

You can review the CAPS Staff Directory to learn more about our clinicians.
 

services
Individual Counseling

CAPS provides brief, focused individual treatment for a variety of concerns that often affect students’ personal, academic and work life. 

During your first counseling appointment, you and a clinician will meet to discuss your concerns and needs, as well as the nature, focus and frequency of sessions.  

CAPS’ primary goal is to work with students to address their immediate concerns through short-term therapy and, as needed, to connect them with additional resources, both on and off campus.  

Make an appointment.

Counseling related to Adverse Experiences

CAPS’ Trauma & Resilience Specialist provides brief, focused individual treatment and advocacy support for people who have had traumatic experiences that are affecting their personal and/or academic lives. 

Counseling is available even if the event(s) happened off campus or before you were a student at UAlbany. 

During your first appointment, you will meet with the Trauma & Resilience Specialist to discuss your concerns and needs, and to plan for your short- and long-term care. 

Make an appointment.

Couples Counseling

Many students are balancing school with other commitments, like relationships.  

If your main concern is communication and other relationship difficulties with your significant other, then couples counseling may be the right choice for you. 

Couples are eligible for CAPS counseling if at least one person in the relationship is a registered UAlbany student.  

Make an appointment.

Group Counseling

Participating in a group is a great way to: 

  • Learn about yourself 

  • Connect with others 

  • Increase your skillfulness and coping 

  • Gain new perspectives on life challenges 

  • Give and receive support 

Review our current groups and learn how to join.

Psychiatry

Psychiatry services are provided by the CAPS Psychiatrist. UAlbany students may also use the free SUNY Student Tele-counseling program and CAPS can help you with a referral.

Make an appointment. 

A provider will meet with you to assess your needs, determine if medication may be a useful treatment for you and develop a medication treatment plan. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have about medications. 

If you’re also working with CAPS clinician for individual, couples or group counseling, your psychiatric provider will work with that clinician to coordinate your treatment. 

Psychiatric appointments are 15 to 30 minutes long. Typically, you’ll meet with your provider once or twice a month at first, then less frequently once you've found a medication and dosage that works well for you.

Most prescriptions are fillable at the Student Health Services Pharmacy

Note: CAPS cannot provide 24/7 urgent or emergency psychiatry services. Students with urgent concerns regarding their medication should confer with their primary care physician or urgent care — or, in an emergency, call 911. For additional guidance, please refer to our Emergencies page
 

ADHD Medication 

Psychiatric providers don’t perform diagnostic evaluations for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  

However, they may be able to prescribe ADHD medication if you provide CAPS with documentation of a comprehensive assessment that led to a diagnosis of ADHD or a letter from a licensed practitioner who has been treating you. That letter must include: 

  • A history of your ADHD and treatment 

  • Verification of your diagnosis to warrant the medication 

  • Documentation of the comprehensive assessment/testing done to determine your diagnosis

Assessment & Testing

Diagnostic and psychoeducational testing is designed to answer questions you may have regarding your academic achievement and progress and/or your emotional and behavioral functioning. 

If you’re interested in testing or learning more about testing, you should first meet with a CAPS clinician to discuss your needs. Make an appointment.

The clinician will determine whether to make a referral to the CAPS Assessment Committee for psychological assessment. The committee reviews all referrals and determines if/what assessment and testing procedures are appropriate. 

Several concerns are commonly addressed through assessment, including: 

  • Learning disabilities 

  • Attention concerns 

  • Emotional and behavioral concerns, such as depression, anxiety and psychological conflicts that may contribute to difficulties in school and/or with family and peers 

An assessment that uses various testing methods may help determine the source of your concerns and help us formulate a helpful diagnosis, recommendations and referrals. 

There are some assessment concerns that are better addressed by off-campus, local providers. Assessment concerns for which CAPS would most likely provide you with a referral include: 

  • Court-mandated assessments 

  • Testing for Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders 

  • Evaluations for Traumatic Brain Injury or other neurological conditions 

  • Assessment of eating disorders, including the level of intensive care needed 

  • Bariatric evaluations or evaluations for assisted reproductive services 

  • Career testing or fitness of duty evaluations 

  • Custody or forensic evaluations 

  • Vocational or disability evaluations 

  • Evaluations for standardized testing accommodations 

Review our “Referrals to Local Providers” section below for more information. 

STEPS, STEPS 2.0 & STEPS-R (Brief Interventions for Alcohol & Cannabis Use)

The STEPS programs offer personalized feedback on alcohol and cannabis use.  

STEPS focuses on alcohol, while STEPS 2.0 focuses on both cannabis and alcohol. STEPS-R is available for students who have already completed STEPS and/or STEPS 2.0. 

Students may participate voluntarily or be referred to the program following a disciplinary sanction related to alcohol and/or other drugs. 
 

How to Participate 
  1. Take the appropriate survey:  STEPS Survey  |  STEPS 2.0 Survey  |  STEPS-R Survey 
     

  2. Call 518-442-STEP (518-442-7837) to schedule an appointment. 
     

  3. Meet with a CAPS provider and have a conversation about alcohol and/or cannabis, as well as ways to stay healthy and safe. 
         

  4. Complete the follow-up survey, which will be emailed to your @albany.edu account one month after your STEPS appointment.  

Information you share as part of any STEPS program is kept confidential by CAPS. This includes survey responses and information discussed during your appointment.  For students who are required to participate in STEPS due to a sanction, only information about your completion of the program is shared, with your consent.

Please email [email protected] with any questions. 

CAPS Connect (Suicide Prevention Resource Program)

CAPS Connect is a program that helps residential students who have experienced suicidal thoughts or behaviors get the help and support they need. 

CAPS Connect is required for on-campus residents who display suicidal behavior(s), such as:  

  • Making a suicide threat, verbally or in writing, 

  • Making plans or preparations for suicide 

  • Inflicting serious injury on yourself 
     

What should I expect from CAPS Connect? 

Within 10 days of your referral, you’ll participate in one or two 2-hour consultations with a licensed psychologist from CAPS.  

During your session(s), the psychologist will: 

  • Assess your present level of suicide risk

  • Evaluate your willingness and ability to refrain from suicidal threats and behaviors in the future 

  • Recommend psychiatric, psychological, academic and/or other support services, as needed 

  • Help you develop a Connect Plan — a plan for coping with difficult emotions and experiences, and for accessing the services you need to keep yourself safe 

Clients are assured of confidentiality in accordance with ethical and legal standards. Your visits and conversations do not become part of your academic record. 
 

What should I bring to my appointment? 

We will need to contact your support system to help you, so please bring the following to your appointment: 

  • Name(s), address(es) and phone number(s) for your parent(s)/guardian(s) 

  • Name, address and phone number of any current mental health treatment provider

We will forward your Connect Plan — a plan for coping with difficult emotions, accessing the services you need and keeping yourself safe — to the individuals you identify, so they can help you follow your plan. 

We will let Residential Life know once you have successfully completed the CAPS Connect Program. If Residential Life refers you to CAPS Connect and you fail to complete the program, you will be referred to Community Standards. 

Referrals to Community-based Care

CAPS is typically able to treat students with the following concerns: 

  • Mild to moderate anxiety or depression  

  • Social anxiety, loneliness or difficulty connecting socially 

  • Relationship concerns, such as conflict with a roommate, romantic partner or friend 

  • Adjusting to college or a new culture 

  • Exploring sexual orientation, race or gender identity 

  • Experiences of oppression and/or discrimination 

  • Low self-esteem or self confidence 

  • Academic stress or learning concerns 

  • Body image or eating concerns

  • Family-related concerns 

  • Lifestyle habits, such as sleep, eating, technology, and alcohol and/or other drug use

  • Grief and/or loss 

  • Stabilization and support after an upsetting or traumatic experience 

Students sometimes need or want more intensive, longer term or specialized care that exceeds what CAPS can provide. In those cases, CAPS can help the student find community-based care. 

Concerns that are most often beyond CAPS' Scope of Care include: 

  • Eating disorders  

  • Severe mood or anxiety disorders 

  • Psychotic disorders 

  • Chronic suicidal risk and/or behavior 

  • History of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations 

  • Moderate to severe alcohol and/or other drug problems 

  • Moderate to severe PTSD, or an interest/need for intensive or specialized post-trauma treatment 

  • Severe OCD 

  • Moderate to severe personality disorder 

  • Other concerns that require a highly structured, intensive or specialized treatment program 

There are also other instances in which we will refer a student to community-based care, such as: 

  • Students who want or need long-term individual therapy and/or ongoing weekly therapy sessions. 

  • Students whose assessment and testing needs fall outside our scope of care. (See the “Assessment & Testing” section above for more information.) 

  • Students who don’t keep their scheduled CAPS appointments, either by repeatedly canceling/rescheduling appointments and/or by having three no-shows in one academic year. 

  • Students who are unable or unwilling to provide enough information for CAPS staff to adequately assess their needs. 

If you need a referral, please make an appointment.

You can also use the ThrivingCampus and/or Psychology Today referral databases to connect with a provider best suited to your needs.

Programming & Events

Visit the Health & Well-being homepage for in-person and virtual events, workshops and programs for students and other campus community members, as well as opportunities for classes, student organizations and other groups to partner with us on programming.

Records & Policies

Withdrawals, Accommodations & Releases

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) often assist in University administrative processes that involve medical and mental health records.  

However, those processes are managed by separate offices. Please contact the offices listed below with any questions and visit their websites for detailed instructions: 

  • Disability Accommodation: All requests for disability accommodation — including those related to academics, housing and parking — must be handled by Disability Access & Inclusion Student Services (DAISS)

  • Medical Withdrawal: All requests for medical withdrawals — when a student leaves the University for medical or psychological reasons — are managed by the Office of Undergraduate Education or the Graduate School

  • Housing Release: All medical- and psychological-related requests for housing release — when a student is released from the academic year on-campus housing contract — are handled by the Department of Residential Life

Confidentiality

All CAPS clinical services are confidential. Our staff follow legal and ethical standards, which prohibit the sharing of any clinical information.   

This means that, unless we have written permission from the student, CAPS does not provide anyone with information about a student and does not let others know if a student is receiving CAPS services. 

We are required by law to maintain records of our contacts with you. These records are maintained securely at CAPS and are not a part of academic or other University records. 

The only exceptions to confidentiality are when a person’s life is in danger, when there is child or elder abuse, or when a court issues a subpoena for your clinical information. 

Records Release

Students may request a copy of their records in person or via mail, email or fax. 

To request records in person, you must show your student ID or government-issued ID. 

To request records via mail, email or fax, please follow these instructions: 
 

  1. Complete the Authorization to Release Records Form
     

  2. Scan or take a photo of your student ID or government-issued ID.
     

  3. Send those two documents to CAPS and include your email address and phone number.
     

Email: [email protected] 

Fax: 518-442-3096 

Mailing Address: 

Counseling & Psychological Services 
Health & Counseling Services 
1400 Washington Avenue 
Albany, NY 12222 

Questions? Please call CAPS at 518-442-5800

Emotional Support Animals

CAPS does not provide assessments or documentation for Emotional Support Animals (ESA). 

Please see the University at Albany’s Animals on Campus Policy (1.9) for further information regarding campus policies and procedures on Assistance Animals. 

Prior to seeking an evaluation, interested students are encouraged to contact Disability Access and Inclusion Student Services for guidance on ESA eligibility, requirements and documentation.  


 

contact
Contact Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)
Health & Counseling Services Building, Dutch Quad

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Phone
Fax
518-442-3096
Office Hours

Have an urgent mental health concern or emergency? Please visit our Emergencies page for 24/7 resources.

CAPS is open on weekdays, year-round.

Fall & Spring Semesters: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday 

Summer & Winter Sessions: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday 

The Health & Counseling Services building is on the Uptown Campus. The building is located on the south side of Dutch Quad, at the ground level facing the athletic fields. Download a campus map.