Our goal is to address the psychological needs and personal concerns of students that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, and emotional wellbeing. To accomplish this, Penn State Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides a variety of services that we invite you to learn more about.
CAPS services are available in a variety of modalities at this time. Please call to learn more about your options.
If there is an emergency situation after hours, contact the 24/7 Penn State Crisis Line at 1-877-229-6400.
How do I get started with counseling?
Most services begin with a phone screening appointment with a staff clinician to assess the nature and urgency of your problem so that we can coordinate the most appropriate next step to assist you. Please call 814-863-0395 to schedule a phone screening appointment.
The phone screening appointment begins with the clinician gathering information about you, including your current location, so we can best determine next steps. The clinician will also complete a risk assessment. Your needs may be met by problem solving and coming to a resolution on this phone call. The clinician may also recommend other options or next steps, and will discuss these with you at the end of the call.
These options could include counseling at CAPS and/or referral to other resources on campus or in the community that can help address your concerns. CAPS is a short-term counseling center. If you need or are interested in a longer-term therapy relationship, we can help you to access our web-based community provider locator and advise you about setting up services in the community.
If a CAPS service is recommended, additional information will be gathered (such as your availability). Depending on the service, you may expect to be emailed with online forms to complete before your appointment.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
During the first appointment you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns in more detail. Some students find that this first appointment meets their needs and require no further services. The counselor may also recommend additional counseling and/or additional resources, such as other CAPS services or other-campus offices that offer specialized support.
NOTE: Students should not pursue services at CAPS for the sole purpose of obtaining a letter of support. CAPS does not provide letters at the first appointment and cannot provide documentation regarding a student's mental health without a history of services at CAPS during the specified time period. If necessary, students are encouraged to seek letters of support from individuals directly involved in their care such as past or present psychological/psychiatric providers, medical doctors, or family members.