In order to minimize the risk of spreading a potentially infectious illness, all clients
for WCU Counseling & Psychological Services must call and schedule an appointment.
To make an appointment, please contact the main office at 828.227.7469 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm).
A Statement from CAPS
Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) wants to express our grief, sorrow and
compassion to all those who have been impacted by the race based tragedies that have
been occurring across our nation. We at CAPS stand in solidarity with our Black students,
faculty and staff in response to the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor,
Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and too many others.
We acknowledge the devastating impact of race based violence against against the Black
community. We recognize that you and your families are likely experiencing grief,
sorrow, anger, pain and trauma. Please know that CAPS is here to support you.
As a mental health service, CAPS is committed to social justice and affirming and
providing care for all of our students. We encourage you to contact our office if
you (or someone you know) would like support with coping and healing. We offer individual
counseling for students and offer support for our student organizations who may need
assistance in processing through their reactions. Please contact us at 828.227.7469
to let us know how we can help you.
Managing Stress And Anxiety About Coronavirus
Explore Self Help and Wellness Tools for Students
CAPS' staff provide counseling within a goal-directed, short-term model. When you
first come into CAPS, a counselor will spend some time to understand your current
symptoms and struggles along with your goals for counseling. Your counselor will then
refer you to the appropriate service.
Some of the primary concerns that students have include:
- Anxiety and depression, which includes symptoms of suicidality, loneliness, and low
- Relationship issues, which could include friends, roommates, romantic partners, and
- Issues related to experiences of trauma, sexual assault, or abuse
- Identity concerns (that is, figuring out who they are)
- Body image problems and/or eating concerns
- Beginning or maintaining recovery from addictive substances or behaviors
While these are the primary reasons that students seek counseling, please know that
any concern or struggle you have can be addressed in counseling.
See the Caps CODE HAndout
Our staff includes licensed providers who have years of experience in working with
the university student population.
They are committed to helping students to achieve their personal and academic goals
and to enhance their experience while at WCU.
Meet Our Staff
CAPS is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.
CAPS has a strong commitment to meeting the needs of our diverse students by providing
high quality, culturally sensitive services. We strive to create a welcoming environment
for all people.
COPE will help you quickly learn tools for managing emotional distress while also
developing a clearer goal of what you want to change in your life.
The CAPS staff all provide individual counseling that is aimed at helping you to remove
any barriers to your academic, social and/or personal life. Your individual counselor
will take some time to get to know you and your specific goals for counseling. You
will discuss how often you will meet, recognizing that the focus is on achieving these
goals within a brief time period.
CAPS' staff are available to assist students who are experiencing a mental health
crisis at any time of the day. During regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday), call the CAPS' main line (828.227.7469) or come in CAPS and you will be seen in a timely manner.
For after-hours emergencies, call the CAPS main line (828.227.7469) and follow the
prompts to be connected to a crisis clinician. You may also contact the community
crisis line through Appalachian Community Services (888.315.2880) or go to the nearest emergency room for assistance.
Research shows that group therapy is the most effective treatment for many of the
concerns college students face. Because of this, your counselor may refer you to one
of several groups offered by CAPS.
Here is what students say about our groups:
"DO IT! Or at least try it because it is really helpful and really becomes a comfortable
space to talk about things you wouldn't talk about with people in your everyday life."
"It is a great way to connect with people who understand what you are going through."
TELEMENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
- In line with current guidance from the University, State of NC, and CDC, we believe
it is safest for our students and our staff to do therapy via zoom. If you prefer
to meet in person, or your counselor believes it will be more beneficial for you,
the two of you will talk about meeting in person with appropriate safety measures.
- Since TMH may not be as complete as in-person services, your counselor may determine
that TMH is not an appropriate treatment option or stop TMH at any time if your condition
changes. In such cases we will ethically manage transferring care as necessary.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND TELEMENTAL HEALTH
- We encourage students to schedule appointments at times when they can have a private
space and use a secure internet connection. Each of our clinicians will also ensure
privacy on their end, often in their office at CAPS, and at other times in private
rooms in their home. Your clinician may use a headset to help ensure privacy and we
encourage you to do the same.
- CAPS uses a HIPAA compliant version of Zoom for all of our video TMH appointments.
- CAPS will provide you a unique Zoom link for each session. Do not share this link
- If you get disconnected from a TMH health session, end and restart the session. If
you are unable to reconnect within five minutes, your counselor will call you at the
phone number on file.
SERVICES OUTSIDE OF NORTH CAROLINA
- All students must be in North Carolina in order to receive counseling services from
CAPS. If you are out of state temporarily, we encourage you to reschedule your appointment
until you return to NC. If you are living outside of NC, our counselors are happy
to talk with you about resources in your area.
Your CAPS counselor may refer you for a medication evaluation at Health Services.
Services for Biltmore park students
Counseling services for Biltmore Park students are offered by CAPS staff via a telemental
health session or through an in-person session at the CAPS office in Cullowhee. For
an appointment , call 828.227.7469.
Make An Appointment
CAPS provides services to currently enrolled WCU students.
To talk to a counselor, please call our office (828.227.7469). The office is open
Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
To begin counseling at CAPS, the first step is to meet briefly with a counselor to
discuss what concerns brought you to CAPS and to arrive at a mutually agreeable course
of action to address your concerns. The first meeting usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes.
Based on this meeting, your counselor will make recommendations about the best treatment
to address your concerns. This may be another campus resource, our self-help resources,
a short-term group, an ongoing group or individual counseling at CAPS or in the community.
Please note that when you arrive for your first meeting, there may be a wait. Know
that we prioritize appointments based on urgency and counselor availaibility. We appreciate
your patience and understanding.
CAPS’ outreach programs are designed to promote prevention, awareness and skill development
among the Catamount community. Through our outreach programming and workshops, CAPS
connects to students, faculty, and staff as they partner with us in reducing stigma
around mental health concerns. Our goal with outreach is that participants will develop
new knowledge and tools to help them remove barriers to their success at WCU. Please
note that all outreach programs will be offered via Zoom in Fall 2020.
see the list of and request our outreach programs
Training & Internships
CAPS offers university counseling center training positions at both the master's and
doctoral level. In addition to becoming strong mental health generalists in the provision
of individual counseling services, trainees have the opportunity to participate in
group counseling, inter-disciplinary collaboration, outreach, consultation, campus
programs and related projects within the university community.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do I see my counselor?
You and your counselor will discuss your treatment and how frequently you will have
sessions. You will likely meet with your counselor every other week or even once a
month. If your concerns are such that need very long-term treatment or you need to
be seen more than once a week, you may be referred to a therapist in the community.
What if I have to reschedule?
Please call the front desk (828.227.7469) as soon as you know you are unable to make
your appointment. We do ask for at least 24 hours notice to change an appointment,
but we know that this is not always possible. Typically, students are not able to
be rescheduled within the next 5 business days and during times of high demand for
CAPS’ services, you may have to wait longer for the next appointment.
Who is eligible for services?
Enrolled students who have paid the Health Fee are eligible for services at CAPS. Faculty
and staff who are interested in counseling have access to services through the WCU
Employee Assistance Program. For additional information, please contact Human Resources
(828.227.7218) or CAPS (828.227.7469).
What will I be charged for services?
CAPS does not charge for their services for enrolled students who have paid the student
What if I am concerned about someone else?
CAPS provides consultation to concerned parents, students, or faculty/staff. CAPS
will typically not reach out to a student based on this type of consultation, however
CAPS staff will guide you in managing the situation. Additionally, you may choose
to complete a Student Concern Response Team (SCRT) report. The SCRT team is charged
with ensuring, to the extent possible, coordinated efforts to provide services of
University Departments are made available to the involved student(s). The report template
is available at scrt.wcu.edu.
What if I do not like my counselor?
We understand that not all counselors are a fit for you. If you find that you are
a not a good fit with your counselor, we ask that you bring this up in your session.
Usually, this will help you and your counselor better understand each other and enhance
your work together. However, if that conversation does not resolve your concern, you
can contact the CAPS office and leave a message about switching counselors. At this
point, a CAPS Administrator will reach out to you to resolve the situation.
What if I don't like the recommendations that my counselor made?
We ask that students trust that CAPS' clinicians are making the best recommendation
for you and your current concerns. Even if the option seems uncomfortable, we ask
that you give it a try, knowing that discomfort often brings about change. If you
choose not to follow through with the recommendation to engage at CAPS, we can provide
outside referrals for you.
Do you provide testing services?
CAPS does provide limited psychological assessment for ongoing clients to inform and
enhance treatment. CAPS does not provide any ADHD testing or other testing necessary
for determining accommodations. CAPS can refer you to a local agency that provides
testing for these purposes. Addtionally, you can seek these services without a CAPS
referral through the McKee Psychology Clinic (828.227.2473).
Do you provide documentation for accommodations?
With your permission, CAPS will provide information to the Office of Accessibility
Resources (828.227.3886) for ongoing clients regarding their diagnosis and impact
of their symptoms on their daily functioning.
CAPS does not provide letters of support for emotional support animals.
What if I am in crisis?
If you are experiencing a mental health emergency during business hours, come to CAPS
(225 Bird Building).
If you are experiencing a mental health emergency after business hours, call the CAPS
main line (828.227.7469) and follow the prompts.
Other emergency resources:
Appalachian Community Resources - 888.315.2880
REACH (Sexual Violence Resources) - 828.369.5544
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800.273.8255
Trevor Project (LGBTQ Crisis support) - 866.488.7386