Frequently Asked Questions

In an emergency involving physical harm or a threat to life, call the Emory Police Department at 404-727-6111 or call 911. For psychological emergencies during business hours, CAPS offers walk-in crisis appointments Monday-Friday, 8:30-3:30. For mental health crises outside of these hours, click here.
You can call CAPS at 404-727-7450 to consult with the on-call therapist if you have concerns about someone other than yourself. You can also contact the Student Intervention Services Team (404-430-1120) if you would like a university staff member to reach out to a student of concern (http://success.emory.edu/).
All of the services offered at CAPS are free to fully registered Emory students. However, because our appointments are in high demand, we charge no-show fees for missed appointments ($50 for initial assessments; $30 for therapy appointments). In order to avoid a no-show fee, you must cancel at least 24-hours prior to the scheduled appointment by calling (404) 727-7450 (day or night). If you are assessed a no-show fee, it will appear on your Emory bill as “No Show EUSHCS."
Yes. The policies of CAPS, the ethical principles of counseling professionals, and state law all agree that it is important to protect the confidentiality of clients. Your confidential information will not be disclosed outside the Center without written authorization given by you, except when disclosures are legally permitted or required (in situations when child abuse, elder abuse or disabled adult abuse is suspected; when the therapist has reasonable cause to believe that a client presents an imminent danger to self or others; or in response to a valid subpoena or court order). Minor students under the age of 18 who voluntarily seek treatment will need to obtain consent from a parent or legal guardian following their initial consultation in order to pursue treatment.
In general, you can schedule an initial assessment appointment within a few days to a week. However, during times of peak clinical demand and/or depending on your availability, it can take up to several weeks. If you are experiencing a crisis, we have crisis walk-in appointments available Monday-Friday, 8:30-3:30. Please note that crisis walk-in appointments are typically brief (15-20 minute) triage appointments designed to assess the situation and determine next steps.

Following a student’s initial assessment appointment, a recommendation will be made for services either on or off campus. If clinically appropriate, students can be referred for brief individual or couples therapy, group therapy, or the Stress Clinic at CAPS. In general, an assignment for brief therapy at CAPS will be made within 2-4 weeks of a student’s initial assessment.

Therapy assignments are made based upon a number of factors such as the time of the semester, a student’s schedule of availability, and the urgency and severity of their concerns. If a student waiting for therapy assignment experiences a shift in circumstances, they may contact CAPS (either the clinician who conducted their initial assessment or the case manager) to update their information and discuss options for more immediate care either on or off campus. Students who choose to remain on the waitlist should talk with their initial assessment clinician for an estimated wait time, which in some instances may take up to several months depending on various factors. In addition to psychotherapy, CAPS offers Stress Clinic classes and workshops focused on skill building and distress tolerance.

All students can use CAPS as their first stop in trying to resolve whatever difficulties they are experiencing. Following an initial assessment, you will either continue with the clinician you first meet, be assigned to another clinician, or receive a referral to an outside clinician or service, depending on what makes the most sense in your particular situation. CAPS uses a brief therapy model (up to 7-sessions per academic year) in order to accommodate the needs of all the students we serve. Most students who need ongoing or specialized counseling/treatment see a provider off campus.

There are many reasons you may to choose to go off-campus rather than be seen at CAPS. For example, you might feel it is more private or allows more flexibility to have your own clinician off-campus, or you might need services that aren't available at CAPS (e.g., formal psychiatric assessment, neurological services, specialized or long-term psychotherapy, drug detoxification and treatment, inpatient services, day-treatment). Sometimes, the primary reason to see a community provider is the need to begin treatment immediately rather than wait for the next available psychotherapy opening at CAPS. If you need off-campus treatment, your CAPS clinician can help you find services that are maximally affordable, accessible, and appropriate for you. Regardless of the treatment needs, a consultation with a CAPS clinician is a good first step.

Therapy reassignments are made on a case-by-case basis and usually involve consultation with the Clinical Director, Dr. Cynthia Whitehead-LaBoo. Students who wish to consult with the Clinical Director about this may contact her by calling CAPS at (404) 727-7450.
Students using their Emory Student Health Insurance will need to have a referral activated in order to receive coverage. The activation can happen through CAPS or Student Health. Please note that you must contact CAPS or Student Health each year in August to reactivate the referral. More information about the plan and benefits can be found on the Student Health website.
Yes. You can call CAPS at 404-727-7450 and ask to speak with our Case Manager to request community referrals. If you have the Emory student health insurance, please let the CAPS clinician know so that we can activate your referral.
CAPS is a nationally accredited and highly-respected training site for doctoral interns, post-doctoral fellows, and post-MSW fellows. There are no undergraduate trainees at CAPS. You can be confident that your clinician has the training appropriate to help you address whatever concerns you might bring in. All trainees are closely supervised by licensed professionals, and held to the highest standards of practice.

No. CAPS does not prescribe medications, however, psychiatric services are available at Student Health Services.

If you already have a prescription, don't wait until your prescription has almost run out to arrange for a refill. The first person to consider contacting for a refill is the healthcare provider who originally gave you the prescription. If that provider is not available, you can contact Student Health-Psychiatry or call CAPS for a referral to a community provider. No responsible provider will refill your prescription without meeting with you for an initial evaluation, so you must allow for enough time before your prescription runs out to connect with a new provider -- allow at least two to three weeks.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is available through Emory University Student Health Services (EUSHS). They do not require a referral letter from CAPS to provide HRT services. You may call Student Health directly (404-727-7551) and ask for an initial appointment with Dr. Haw. Appointments for HRT at EUSHS may be limited to specific times a month, so we encourage you to call as soon as you are ready. Starting HRT can be a stressful and emotionally draining process. It can impact your mental health, social support, and how you experience the world around you. We recommend that you meet with one of our therapists to discuss how CAPS can emotionally support you through this journey. It may also be helpful to check out the different resources and discussion groups hosted at the Office of LGBT Life on campus.
All currently enrolled Emory University undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students are eligible for CAPS services. Students who have graduated or taken a leave of absence from the university are not eligible for CAPS services, but can be assisted with accessing community referral options as needed. Faculty and staff can access services through the Faculty Staff Assistance Program.
All clients are asked to provide feedback on the CAPS services they receive as a routine part of their care. Clients who do not have the opportunity to complete the evaluation at CAPS, can complete an Evaluation of Services form available on the Clinical Services page of the CAPS website. The form contains instructions on how to submit feedback and students are invited to attach additional comments as needed. Thank you for helping us to continue to improve our services!

It can be very difficult when someone you care about is in pain. You might find yourself feeling helpless, frightened, frustrated, or angry. You can't make your friend seek help if they don't want to or don't feel they need it, but here are some things you might offer them as a friend:

  • Let your friend know, in some private setting, that you are concerned. Suggest that they make an appointment with CAPS to see if we can be of help. Try to phrase your communications in "I" language, rather than "you" language: for example, "I care about you and I feel concerned when I see you hurting" rather than "You are in trouble and you need help."
  • Offer to sit with your friend while they call for an appointment.
  • Offer to accompany your friend to CAPS during crisis walk-in hours or to their Initial Assessment appointment.
The Mental Health fee is an important funding supplement for Emory University's mental health services. Money generated by this fee is used across several departments to increase the availability of counseling, psychiatry, health, wellness, alcohol and other drug counseling, and crisis intervention support services for Emory students. Even if an individual Emory student never uses campus mental health services, these services are still critically important because they will be used by a friend, a roommate or a classmate in need of help which, in turn, has a positive impact on the larger community and the individual members who are part of it.