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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

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Explore a variety of questions and answers regarding Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when I call CAPS?

A CAPS front desk administrative associate will ask you a few questions to understand the type of support you are seeking. They will then connect you with the appropriate resource which may include:

  • A scheduled appointment with a CAPS provider (current wait times for an initial visit average less than two business days)
  • Direct consultation with a CAPS on-call provider for urgent mental health needs
  • Support from the CAPS Referral Coordinator if a community provider is desired
  • Access to CAPS clinical groups and workshops

How long do I have to wait for an initial appointment at CAPS?

Since the start of 2022, wait times for initial appointments* at CAPS has averaged less than two business days.

* Wait times are for scheduled, non-urgent initial appointments. Same-day access is available for urgent needs.

* Wait times may be longer if a specific provider is requested.

How does CAPS approach care for students with diverse identities? 

CAPS has a very diverse range of staff who are personally and ethically committed to providing care that is rooted in cultural humility and social justice values. With these values, we endeavor to see each student as a unique individual with their own intersectional narrative and recognize that healing could and should look different for different people, communities, and presenting concerns. 

We ask each student who calls for a new appointment if they would like to share any relevant identities to help match them with a provider.

The Mental Health Resources at Stanford website hosts a myriad of resources for students under the tile labeled “Find Your Community.” CAPS providers provide outreach and consultation to many of these resources.

What kinds of therapy services does CAPS offer?

You may seek services for a variety of mental health concerns. CAPS providers will often use a combination of modalities to help address the issues you bring to the therapy sessions.

CAPS providers are generalists who are trained in a variety of modalities including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Psychodynamically-oriented treatment

Is there a limit to the number of CAPS sessions I can participate in?

There is no specific limit to the number of sessions. However, because CAPS prioritizes equitable access with low wait times for all students, we operate in a brief therapy model. The length of treatment would be a discussion between a student and their CAPS provider. Students are able to be seen at CAPS for ongoing psychiatric medication management which is fee-for-service. 

TimelyCare is an additional telehealth service available to support students at no charge, and is offered as a supplement to the extensive existing services offered by CAPS, Vaden Medical Services, and other Vaden and on-campus resources. Through TimelyCare, students are able to receive up to 12 scheduled virtual mental health therapy sessions per academic year as well as unlimited same day support sessions. Vaden Health Services covers the cost. 

Login to with your Stanford email or download the TimelyCare app to access care. 

Is there a fee to receive services from CAPS?

CAPS services (except for psychiatric medication management) are offered at no cost to currently enrolled students, regardless of a student’s insurance. Psychiatric medication management visits have a copay of $25 for students with Cardinal Care. More details are available here.

Is there financial support available if CAPS helps me connect to a long-term therapist outside of Stanford?

Students with Cardinal Care will have a $25 copay for each therapy or psychiatry visit with an in-network provider. Costs for students without Cardinal Care will depend on a student’s specific insurance plan.

The Financial Aid Office and the Graduate Student Grant-in-Aid fund have options for support of treatment expenses.  CAPS providers are here to help you access these resources when needed. Learn more about financial support resources, and low-cost care options.

Students may also access TimelyCare, a no cost virtual medical and mental health care 24/7/365 for currently enrolled students in the United States. Students may receive up to 12 scheduled mental health therapy sessions per academic year. Explore TimelyCare services available to you.

What other services does CAPS offer?

Referrals and Resources: CAPS providers are knowledgeable about the many local mental health resources, both on and off campus, and can help a student select and connect to options that may work best for them. CAPS has also collaborated with the platform Welltrack Connect to assist students in finding long-term therapists. 

CAPS has a dedicated Referral Coordinator who assists students who only want support connecting to outside services and do not want to meet with a CAPS provider. The Referral Coordinator can also help students navigate and understand their insurance coverage.

Groups and Workshops: CAPS offers many groups and workshops for supporting various mental health issues.

Complex Clinical Care Management: CAPS has a dedicated team of providers who support students who may need access to more intensive treatment resources.

On-Campus Support and Resources: CAPS providers can help you get connected to multiple Vaden and campus resources.

Where are Let’s Talk in Community (Zoom) sessions held?

Let’s Talk in Community (Zoom) enables students who are affiliated with a particular community center(s) to access a CAPS provider for a short, informal consultation. These providers can listen to specific problems in the student’s life, help the student consider new ways for relating to or working with a problem or situation, provide resource information and mental health education, and give the student a sense of what it is like to meet with a member of the CAPS staff.

Schedule a Let’s Talk session by going to the Vaden Portal and booking an appointment under the community center you feel most associated with or by calling CAPS at 650.723.2785.

Are embedded CAPS providers only located at the Graduate School of Business and the Stanford Law School?

These respective schools have specifically funded these positions. The School of Medicine (SOM) also has funded a separate Mental Health Team consisting of one part-time psychiatrist and four part-time social workers, who support SOM students.

How can I provide anonymous feedback about CAPS?

If you wish to provide anonymous feedback regarding CAPS services, you may contact the Vaden Quality Manager here.

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Regardless of location, students can call CAPS 24/7 for urgent support: 650.723.3785.