California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

CAPS adds new tele-health option and expands staff

Infographic by Parker Smith – Digital and Multimedia Editor
TimelyCare gives students access to 24/7 virtual care from anywhere in the United States at no cost. This new service and many other services provided by CAPS are free to students and part of their tuition health costs.

This fall, California Lutheran University’s program for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) expanded its staff and added an additional roster of services. This includes a new telehealth program, called TimelyCare. The CAPS website is where students can access 24/7 virtual care from anywhere in the United States at no cost. 

According to the CAPS website, their mission is “Helping Students Cope through Compassion.” In addition to the mission statement, the webpage shows services are free to students and part of their tuition health costs. Each academic year, students are eligible for up to eight free counseling sessions and the department assures students that all of their services are confidential. 

Guerin said CAPS is continuing to engage in presentations with groups that request presentations, tabling, completing Safe Zone training, and being present on social media. Guerin said they have added more Safe Zone training for Faculty and Staff as well as a new non-clinical student employment role. This role is a peer health educator who focuses on engaging in outreach and student voice to different groups on campus.

“Regarding supporting mental health we focus on preventions, interventions, and increasing overall awareness about wellness and well-being,” Guerin said

While at Cal Lutheran, Anna Guerin, director of the CAPS program, has been staffing the CAPS department by bringing on post-doctoral residents and post-doctoral resident trainees. 

“CAPS has added in monthly “Question, Persuade, and Refer” training for Faculty and Staff, which she said is a gatekeeper training that provides education about suicide prevention.” Guerin said.  

Saul Miller, director of health services said that there are several new counselors in the CAPS Program, there are a number of online and on-demand health services to give students a number of convenient options.  

“TimelyCare is a telehealth medical service that specializes in care for college students,” Miller said. “They have partnered with over 300 colleges and universities across the nation to help provide medical and psychological care for students.”

Miller said he is equally excited about the implementation of the new 24/7 telehealth TimelyCare, as students will now have additional resources to draw from.

The services provided to students include MedicalNow and TalkNow. MedicalNow, Miller said, is a 24/7 on-demand medical care service that puts students in real-time contact with a licensed medical provider. He said MedicalNow has a scheduled component where students can select the day, time and medical provider of their choice. Whereas TalkNow, Miller said, is another 24/7 on-demand emotional support service where students can meet online with a licensed mental health provider to speak about anything at any time.

Scheduled counseling for CAPS is available to all students. Students can access the CAPS page and select the day, time, and after reviewing the bios of the roster of counselors on staff, choose a mental health provider of their choice. 

According to Miller, students are provided 12 visits per year for free, and evening and weekend appointments are also available. Miller said there is self-care content via the CAPS website, which includes opportunities to engage in yoga, meditation sessions, and group conversations on a variety of health and well-being topics.

“First you need to follow the link to and login via SSO. You should register. Registration does not mean that you are signing up for a visit yet. This can occur via web browser or by downloading the App,” Guerin said. “From there you select the service you would like. For example, for scheduled counseling you are able to view bios of all the available licensed therapists, choose one and then pick a date.”

Guerin also said CAPS offers consultations to students who want to learn more about therapy either through Cal Lutheran or community resources. Guerin said that some consultations are about symptom reduction or meeting treatment goals. She also said that every client completes a brief screening before each session that tracks subjective experiences. She said the clinician can track progress in that respect if the goal is symptom reduction.

“CAPS highly encourages students to complete our Treatment Perception Survey. We track data related to unique clients, crisis appointments, intakes, etc,” Guerin said.

Some individuals may feel reluctant to seek mental health support for a variety of reasons and that is OK, Guerin said. She reminds students there are many forms of support such as friends, family, and wellness activities. Guerin said students are encouraged to check-in with themselves, consider downloading the TimelyCare app and/or take advantage of the program by reviewing the variety of services CAPS has to offer. 

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