Although CAPS offers both brief individual therapy and group therapy, there are situations in which a student’s treatment needs will be best met by mental health services in the community. For example,
- students who need or will benefit from longer-term therapy or
- students who require psychiatric care and medication monitoring, and/or
- students whose issues demand a level or continuity of care that cannot be met within an academic calendar type schedule (CAPS can only see students when they are enrolled in classes and classes are in session).
CAPS conducts an annual survey of mental health providers in the Fredericksburg community. Providers are asked to identify the types of issues they work with, their therapeutic approaches, their modalities of care, the insurance plans that they accept and other relevant information. Because many students are covered by health insurance that uses “preferred providers,” when we help students with referrals, we will generally first ask the student to contact his/her behavioral health insurer to determine if there are certain providers locally that the insurer has approved for reimbursement. Equipped with that list, CAPS staff will meet with the student and help narrow the choices, based on the student’s concerns, preferences, location of the provider’s office and so on.
If there are any specific procedures to follow in making an appointment, we will review them, but we expect the student to call and make the appointment with the community provider. We do this for two reasons. The first is practical. Often when first calling, the student will be asked to leave a number and other information for a call-back. Second, it is important that the student be proactive in helping him/herself and be willing to commit to treatment.
Generally, CAPS staff will continue to follow the student until after s/he has actually attended a session with the community mental health provider. We ask each referred student to return to CAPS following that session so that we can check in and see if there are any further referral issues that need to be addressed. We do not continue to follow students after they have established treatment relationships off-campus, but we are always ready to assist in a crisis or if s/he needs additional referrals.