Skip to content Skip to navigation

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

Get urgent help now

Please see  below on how CAPS has adjusted to the address mental health needs of Stanford students during this challenging and uncertain time.


CAPS stands in solidarity with Black students and the Black community, and against the state-sanctioned violence and systemic oppression that continues to perpetrate harm on the Black community.

CAPS is offering increased and expedited access to immediate counseling support via our Community Connects. Please call us to connect with a therapist. Additional resources for Black-centered support  are also listed here.


1. What services are CAPS still providing to students during this quarter when many students are living off campus? What services are being offered for students who are on campus?

We know that the COVID-19 situation is causing significant disruption and distress for our community. This is an unprecedented event, and CAPS is committed to supporting students wherever they may be.

For students in California —including all students on campus—CAPS has been able to continue to provide individual services, with all of our clinicians shifting to telehealth visits via Zoom or phone. Our telehealth services include: 

  • Initial consultations and evaluations
  • Follow-up therapy and medication visits
  • Psychiatric medication evaluation for symptoms such as depression and anxiety
  • Care management and referral coordination help 

For students who are now living outside of California, different legal guidelines apply, as CAPS clinicians are licensed only to provide ongoing care within California. However, CAPS can provide care management services to students who are out of state, to help them connect with mental health resources in their communities and to provide interim support for their needs. Regardless of location, we want all students to know that they can call CAPS 24/7 to consult on a plan for their needs: 650-723-3785.

2. Is CAPS "still open"?

We have a small number of CAPS staff on-site at Vaden Health Center from 8:30am to 5:00pm (PT), Monday through Friday. These staff members can meet in person with students who may be in crisis or whose needs cannot be met via telehealth or phone support. We ask all students to call CAPS (650-723-3785) before coming in person so we can discuss how best to meet their mental health needs while also protecting their physical health and safety.

3. How should students connect with CAPS for non-urgent services? Are students who were obtaining ongoing counseling still able to meet their counselors? How does this work?

Any student who has not been seen at CAPS previously can call 650-723-3785 between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PST), Monday through Friday, to speak with an access clinician. Students who already have a CAPS provider and can send their provider a secure message through the Vaden Student Portal.

4. Is CAPS still offering groups and workshops or outreach services?

CAPS has had to postpone offering clinical groups and workshops for the spring term, due to concerns about ensuring confidentiality for group services delivered via telehealth. CAPS staff are collaborating with campus partners, including community center staff and the Well-Being at Stanford team, to offer virtual educational outreach events to the community. Our team is also working to develop videos with selected content from our clinical groups and workshops, which students will be able to access directly at any time. As this content is developed, it will be posted on the CAPS groups and workshops web page.

5. How is the shift to telehealth working?

CAPS has been very grateful for the ability to continue serving students via telehealth through this time of crisis. Students have also expressed appreciation for being able to receive care through telehealth. The advantages of virtual care include increased convenience, flexibility, and access. Challenges that have come up for students include limited access to a private space and a stable internet connection. For providers, it can be hard to assess subtle symptoms or needs through a video visit. And we all miss being able to connect with others in person! Social isolation is definitely a theme we are all struggling with at the moment. Overall, though, we’ve been pleased with how quickly and smoothly the shift has gone, and students have been glad to have this option as well. (For tips on doing a telehealth visit, students can review this resource: TeleHealth Visit Tips Guide.)

6. Are there any additional services being provided during this time?

CAPS would like to highlight the great work being done by two other offices under Vaden Health Services to support students' emotional health:

7. Anything else you want to share with the Stanford community about CAPS during this time?

This is a time of unparalleled change and loss for our entire community, in ways both large and small. We also know that crises of this scale magnify the impact of existing systemic inequities in the home communities for many of our students—disparities that affect access to crucial health, economic, and social resources. We are especially concerned for students who feel isolated and disconnected from vital support systems, whether they are on campus or at home. CAPS urges students to reach out to us and to other university resources for support.

Learn about our training programs: