What services is CAPS offering during COVID-19?

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and recommendations for social distancing, CAPS is currently offering telehealth services via phone and HIPAA-compliant Zoom.  CAPS continues to offer core functions of crisis response, consultation, individual therapy, limited support/discussion groups, and online workshops. 

Telemental Health FAQ

"Telehealth" includes the practice of providing clinical services through interactive audio, video, telephone, and/or other data communications. Video consultations are available via a HIPAA-compliant Zoom platform. To schedule a telehealth appointment, call CAPS at 404-727-7450

Enrolled students who have not previously established a treatment relationship at CAPS can speak with the crisis on-call counselor or consult with a member of the Triage Team, who can make recommendations about ongoing therapy, including whether therapy with a CAPS counselor via telehealth is clinically appropriate. 

Telehealth services may not be clinically appropriate for students with: • Recent suicide attempt(s), psychiatric hospitalization, or psychosis • Moderate to severe major depression or bipolar disorder symptoms • Moderate to severe alcohol or drug abuse • Severe eating disorders • Repeated “acute” crises. In such cases, when telehealth services may not be clinically appropriate, a CAPS counselor will provide referrals to mental health providers who can offer services. 

It depends.  Under normal circumstances, this would not be allowed due to professional ethical guidelines and the laws and regulations pertaining to practicing in states where one is not licensed.  However, during COVID-19, there are a growing number of exceptions being made by state licensing boards, which may allow CAPS staff to provide limited therapy services to students residing in other states.  We are happy to talk with you to clarify the services available to you, help you sort out your concerns, provide continuity-of-care consultations, and help you connect with local resources if needed.  For many students, it will be more helpful to identify a provider located close to where they reside.  To find a local therapist, go to https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists or https://emory.thrivingcampus.com/ to search by state. 

The laws that protect the confidentiality of personal information also apply to telehealth. Therefore, information disclosed during conversations with a CAPS counselor are generally confidential. However, there are both mandatory and permissive exceptions to confidentiality including, but not limited to, reporting child, elder, and dependent adult abuse; expressed threats of violence towards an ascertainable victim; expressed threats to harm or kill oneself; and where the client makes their mental or emotional state an issue in a legal proceeding.

The potential risks and consequences from telehealth include the possibility that, despite reasonable efforts on the part of the counselor, the transmission of personal information could be disrupted or distorted by technical failures or unauthorized persons. In addition, an unauthorized person could access the electronic storage of personal information.  Also, depending on the privacy of the location of the student, information could be overheard by 3rd parties.  There are potential risks and benefits associated with any form of counseling and it is possible that despite the efforts of the counselor and student, a student’s condition may not improve and, in some cases, may even get worse. Students are encouraged to discuss these concerns directly with a counselor.

Participating in telehealth services requires the identification of two collaborators (one of whom must be local) who the provider can contact if there is any concern for a student’s physical or emotional well-being. Such collaborators can be called upon to contact the student or alert local authorities in an emergency. 

Immediately call 911 or seek help from a hospital or crisis center in your immediate area.  If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide without a clear commitment to safety, call 911; the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or another suicide hotline; or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741 or STEVE to 741741 (to connect with a person of color).

For resources specific to Emory University and Atlanta visit https://counseling.emory.edu/about/emergency.html 

National In- Network Providers are covered at 80/20 of the Negotiated rate after the $10 co-pay and $300 annual deductible (20% patient co-insurance). National Out-of-Network Providers are covered at 80/20 of the Usual and Customary after the $10 co-pay and $450 annual deductible (20% patient co-insurance). Additional information about Emory Aetna Policy can be found at http://studenthealth.emory.edu/hs/insurance_fees/COVID-19.html and under the Health Insurance link at http://studenthealth.emory.edu/hs/

Students can follow the CAPS’s therapy dogs, Beowulf and Finn, on Instagram and Facebook @EmoryCAPS. Beowulf and Finn share wellness and self-care tips throughout the week. Students can also go to the Additional Resources for Distance Counseling, Telemental Health, Emotional Support Lines, 24-7 Crisis Text and Phone Support, and Helpful Apps on the main CAPS website at http://counseling.emory.edu/