Skip to main content
Get Urgent Help

Search

Community Education and Outreach

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers psychoeducational services to the campus community focused on mental health awareness and prevention efforts, as well as group-level support and response to critical events affecting the campus community.

 

Begin Here: Free, always-available webinars that answer your most common questions

Red Folder: Helping Students Experiencing Distress

 The Red Folder course can now be found on the Penn State Learning Resource Network (LRN)!

This is an open invitation intended for all members of the community, including students, faculty, staff, and caregivers. Join a presentation panel of CAPS staff addressing how to recognize and respond to students in distress, as well as referral resources across the campus communities. 

Students may experience different levels of distress across various areas of their lives. The type and amount of distress they are experiencing will require different actions and resources. The Red Folder initiative is a guide to help faculty, staff, student leaders, and others who interact with students to recognize, respond effectively to, and refer Penn State students in distress.

Highlights of course access on the LRN include:

  • An interactive, engaging, self-paced course 
  • Course completion time of 30 minutes (compared to the previous 60-minute webinar)
  • Easy access for users to refer back to course content as needed upon course completion
  • Ability for managers to assign The Red Folder module to employees and, if desired, track progress/completion
  • 24/7 availability to conveniently meet your department's onboarding or training needs throughout the academic year

 

To access the course:

  1. Follow the link to The Red Folder LRN course (note: you may need to first log in to the LRN by selecting "Log in to LRN")

or

  1. Log in to the Learning Resource Network (LRN) with your Penn State account: https://lrn.psu.edu/
  2. In the search bar enter the search term: "The Red Folder"
  3. Select "The Red Folder" online class

As a reminder, The Red Folder course is only one element of The Red Folder toolkit, which includes:

  • The Red Folder website: houses the most up-to-date campus resources and information
  • The Red Folder physical print folders: used for quick reference; can be requested on The Red Folder website
  • The Red Folder course: a comprehensive orientation to effectively using The Red Folder

 

CAPS Services and Common FAQ

A panel of CAPS staff explain our services, demystifying CAPS resources, and helping you be a supportive presence for students

Reviewing CAPS Wellness and Clinical Services before watching the webinar is recommended.

View a recording of the 2022 webinar.

Awareness and Prevention Outreach Events

CAPS provides and participates in regularly scheduled events throughout the year. Before requesting an event, review the list below to see if your group may benefit from engaging in any of these scheduled programs. Dates and registration instructions will be updated as they become available.

Fall Events

The Red Folder: Helping Students Experiencing Distress

 This is strongly encouraged for onboarding new Penn State employees and campus leaders.


The Red Folder course can now be found on the Penn State Learning Resource Network (LRN)!

This is an open invitation intended for all members of the community, including students, faculty, staff, and caregivers. Join a presentation panel of CAPS staff addressing how to recognize and respond to students in distress, as well as referral resources across the campus communities. 

Students may experience different levels of distress across various areas of their lives. The type and amount of distress they are experiencing will require different actions and resources. The Red Folder initiative is a guide to help faculty, staff, student leaders, and others who interact with students to recognize, respond effectively to, and refer Penn State students in distress.

Highlights of course access on the LRN include:

  • An interactive, engaging, self-paced course 
  • Course completion time of 30 minutes (compared to the previous 60-minute webinar)
  • Easy access for users to refer back to course content as needed upon course completion
  • Ability for managers to assign The Red Folder module to employees and, if desired, track progress/completion
  • 24/7 availability to conveniently meet your department's onboarding or training needs throughout the academic year

 

To access the course:

  1. Follow the link to The Red Folder LRN course (note: you may need to first log in to the LRN by selecting "Log in to LRN")

or

  1. Log in to the Learning Resource Network (LRN) with your Penn State account: https://lrn.psu.edu/
  2. In the search bar enter the search term: "The Red Folder"
  3. Select "The Red Folder" online class

As a reminder, The Red Folder course is only one element of The Red Folder toolkit, which includes:

  • The Red Folder website: houses the most up-to-date campus resources and information
  • The Red Folder physical print folders: used for quick reference; can be requested on The Red Folder website
  • The Red Folder course: a comprehensive orientation to effectively using The Red Folder

 

Graduate Student Welcome/Welcome Back Resource Fair

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

 

Calling all grad students! Whether you're new to campus or you're returning for the new semester, join us and other campus partners to see what resources, supports, and offerings are available to enrich your wellbeing and experience this year.

Residence Life Carnival

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

 

Join us alongside other campus partners at the Residence Life East Halls Resource Carnival to educate first-year students about campus resources during the first week of classes.

LGBTQ+ Welcome Reception

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

Hosted by the Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity, this is an opportunity for new and returning students to connect and kick off a new academic year. In addition to food and music, a variety of campus and community organizations and resources are given the opportunity to engage with students, faculty, and staff.

Life Hacks with CAPS: Belonging & Building Connections

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

Life Hacks with CAPS are lively gatherings focused on learning how to develop and enhance your connections with others. These sessions are available to all students and are facilitated by CAPS Clinical Services Provider, Jason Yoder, LCSW.

Today's topic is Belonging & Building Connections. Create and move toward interpersonal goals to feel a sense of purpose and belonging, while also developing meaningful and authentic connections.

 

*Faculty & Instructors: Considering having a program to orient your students to mental health services and address college student wellbeing? Your students can attend a session that works best for their schedules! Students unable to attend live can return to this page for updates should additional dates be added. In the meantime, these students can review Life Hack Kits and Virtual Library videos that address the common concerns noted above, as well as the CAPS Services and Common FAQ webinar recording at the top of this page.

Equity & Inclusion Carnival

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

The Equity & Inclusion Carnival, hosted by Student Orientation and Transition Programs, celebrates and affirms the diversity of the Penn State student body, while providing an opportunity to connect students to campus resources, student organizations, and their like-minded peers. In addition to informative engagement stations hosted by university departments, the carnival will feature entertainment, activities, food, music, and student performances.

Talk Saves Lives: A Brief Introduction to Suicide Prevention

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

A brief introduction to suicide prevention on behalf of Penn State CAPS, hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

Suicide can be prevented. This presentation will cover what we know about this leading cause of death, the most up-to-date research on prevention, and what we can all do to fight suicide. Participants will learn the common risk factors for
suicide, how to spot the warning signs in others, and how to keep ourselves, our loved ones and those in our community safe.

Learn more at AFSP Talk Saves Lives.

Caring Canines

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

(rain date September 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

 

Caring Canines is back!  Join CAPS and some of our favorite cuddly pups to relax, de-stress, and unwind. Just sweet, soft dog snuggles. That's it. That's the program. Just show up and enjoy!

Parents & Families Weekend

October 19  |  Time TBD |  Student Health Center

 

A weekend for students, families, and caregivers. Come by our table at the Student Health Center to learn about CAPS services, as well as local resources that may best support students in their college transition.

Reviewing CAPS Wellness and Clinical Services is strongly recommended.

Life Hacks with CAPS: Being Your Best Selfie

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

Life Hacks with CAPS are lively gatherings focused on learning how to develop and enhance your connections with others. These sessions are available to all students and are facilitated by CAPS Clinical Services Provider, Jason Yoder, LCSW.

Today's topic is Being Your Best Selfie. Find your fulfillment, live by your values, and personalize what self-care means to you.

 

*Faculty & Instructors: Considering having a program to orient your students to mental health services and address college student wellbeing? Your students can attend a session that works best for their schedules! Students unable to attend live can return to this page for updates should additional dates be added. In the meantime, these students can review Life Hack Kits and Virtual Library videos that address the common concerns noted above, as well as the CAPS Services and Common FAQ webinar recording at the top of this page.

Talk Saves Lives: A Brief Introduction to Suicide Prevention

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

A brief introduction to suicide prevention on behalf of Penn State CAPS, hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

Suicide can be prevented. This presentation will cover what we know about this leading cause of death, the most up-to-date research on prevention, and what we can all do to fight suicide. Participants will learn the common risk factors for
suicide, how to spot the warning signs in others, and how to keep ourselves, our loved ones and those in our community safe.

Learn more at AFSP Talk Saves Lives.

Life Hacks with CAPS: Develop Your Narrative

Stay tuned for date and time updates!

Life Hacks with CAPS are lively gatherings focused on learning how to develop and enhance your connections with others. These sessions are available to all students and are facilitated by CAPS Clinical Services Provider, Jason Yoder, LCSW.

Today's topic is Develop Your NarrativeLearn about applying narrative therapy techniques to guide ongoing self-exploration and growth. 

 

*Faculty & Instructors: Considering having a program to orient your students to mental health services and address college student wellbeing? Your students can attend a session that works best for their schedules! Students unable to attend live can return to this page for updates should additional dates be added. In the meantime, these students can review Life Hack Kits and Virtual Library videos that address the common concerns noted above, as well as the CAPS Services and Common FAQ webinar recording at the top of this page.

Out of the Darkness Walk - Centre County

Date TBD | typically 11:00 a.m. (walk starts at noon) | Sidney Friedman Park 

CAPS is a proud sponsor of the Centre County Out of the Darkness Walk, hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, raising awareness and support for suicide prevention and research. The Out of the Darkness Community Walk is a journey of remembrance, hope, and support. It unites our communities and provides an opportunity to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental health conditions have affected our lives and the lives of those we love and care about.

You can annually find our provider resource table at this event of community, celebration, and remembrance. See you there!

Spring Events

New/Incoming Students: Come See What We're All About

January 10  | 3-4:00 p.m. | 301 Bank of America Building

Welcome, new & incoming students! Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is thrilled to have you here! Join CAPS clinicians to learn about how CAPS supports student mental health, wellbeing, and ongoing emotional care. Bonus: by attending you get a peek at one of our CAPS locations to reduce some of the unknowns.

Find more information on the Welcome Week Event Calendar

New/Incoming Students: Come See What We're All About

January 11  | 3-4:00 p.m. | 301 Bank of America Building

Welcome, new & incoming students! Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is thrilled to have you here! Join CAPS clinicians to learn about how CAPS supports student mental health, wellbeing, and ongoing emotional care. Bonus: by attending you get a peek at one of our CAPS locations to reduce some of the unknowns.

Find more information on the Welcome Week Event Calendar

Belonging & Building Connections: Life Hacks with CAPS

January 31  | 4-5:00 p.m. | Zoom

Create and move toward interpersonal goals to feel a sense of purpose and belonging, while also developing meaningful and authentic connections.

Life Hacks are lively gatherings focused on learning how to develop and enhance your connections with others. All sessions are facilitated by CAPS Clinical Services Provider, Jason Yoder, LCSW.

Cuts & Conversation

February 27 |  3-7:00 p.m. | HUB, Heritage Hall

Stop in anytime for an afternoon of barbershop talk. Cuts and Conversations aims to provide accessible health education and resources to students while also creating a culturally supportive environment that has been central to communities of color for generations. We’re collaborating with local barbershops to promote flourishing in men of color and providing information and connection to services in the broader community around topics of flourishing, healthcare, personal growth, and wellness.

Affirmation Station: National Eating Disorder Week

February 28  | 12-2:00 p.m. |  HUB Tables, 1st Floor

Stop by the HUB first floor entrance to enjoy our Affirmation Station!

Being Your Best Selfie: Life Hacks with CAPS

February 28  | 4-5:00 p.m. | Zoom

Find your fulfillment, live by your values, and personalize what self-care means to you. 

Life Hacks are lively gatherings focused on learning how to develop and enhance your connections with others. All sessions are facilitated by CAPS Clinical Services Provider, Jason Yoder, LCSW.

Becoming Ryan: Eating Disorder Recovery and Transition

February 28  | 6-7:30 p.m. |  HUB, Freeman Auditorium

A presentation that blends present research surrounding eating disorders with Ryan’s personal recovery story.

Book signing to follow. Learn more about Ryan's story.

Taking Care of Your Body Speaker Panel: National Eating Disorder Week

Late February |  Zoom | Stay tuned for final date and time details.

Join specialists in gender diverse care, nutrition, eating disorder recovery, and body image work to engage in a lively panel discussion about gender transition and taking care of your body.

Talk Saves Lives: A Brief Introduction to Suicide Prevention

March 19 |  7-8:00 p.m. | Zoom

Join via Zoom (no pre-registration required)

A brief introduction to suicide prevention on behalf of Penn State CAPS, hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

Suicide can be prevented. This presentation will cover what we know about this leading cause of death, the most up-to-date research on prevention, and what we can all do to fight suicide. Participants will learn the common risk factors for
suicide, how to spot the warning signs in others, and how to keep ourselves, our loved ones and those in our community safe.

Learn more at AFSP Talk Saves Lives.

Develop Your Narrative: Life Hacks with CAPS

March 27  | 4-5:00 p.m. | Zoom

Learn about applying narrative therapy techniques to guide ongoing self-exploration and growth.

Life Hacks are lively gatherings focused on learning how to develop and enhance your connections with others. All sessions are facilitated by CAPS Clinical Services Provider, Jason Yoder, LCSW.

HUB Takeover for Campus Pride Month

April 2024 |  HUB 1st Floor (Pollock Entrance)

 

April is Penn State's Campus Pride Month! Find us at the HUB during this exquisite celebration of community and identity. Find the CAPS table on Wednesday, April 5 from 10am-2pm!

Student Affairs Spring Care Fair

Spring dates TBD

Mindfulness, self-compassion, and wellness abound at this self-care fair! Hands-on activities will leave you feeling grounded and present.

Summer Events

New Student Orientation

Throughout Summer Months

CAPS and other Student Affairs offices are eager to help you prepare for your first year with Penn State! Find us at the HUB throughout New Student Orientation.

Parents: Helping Your High-Achieving College Student

Check back for Summer 2024 dates


Penn State CAPS is excited to offer workshops for parents of new students to equip them with skills to empower help seeking in their child and provide support.
Topics covered include building foundational helping skills, signs and symptoms of common mental health concerns, and how these intersect with supporting your college student.

High-Achieving College Students: Helping Skills

Check back for Summer 2024 dates

Penn State CAPS is excited to offer workshops for students to equip them with skills to empower help seeking and provide support.
Topics covered include building foundational helping skills, signs and symptoms of common mental health concerns, and how these intersect with being a high-achieving student.

State College Pride

June 2024 | Downtown State College

CAPS is a proud sponsor of the Centre LGBTQA Network's State College Pride. Visit our resource table after the parade to say hello! The post-parade party begins at 4:30 p.m. on Allen Street!

Ringer Run 5k

June 2024  | Virtual (in person location: Chester Springs, PA)

CAPS is honored to be affiliated with the annual Ringer Run. Participate at your pace, virtually or in-person!

Proceeds raised by Ringer Run Benefit contribute to local and regional suicide prevention and mental health awareness programs. In 2016 the Joseph J. Ringhoffer Memorial Fund was created to support CAPS. 

Sprinkles & Mingles for International Students

Check back for Summer 2024 dates

Donuts & Activities are waiting for International Students in HUB 134! Come connect with other students who share similar experiences as international students at Penn State and learn ways to be well during your time here. Each meeting includes a hands-on wellness activity.

Feeling you are all alone in the journey to study in the U.S.?

Let's talk & mingle with international peers & CAPS

 

No registration required, just show up!

Graduate Students: Helping Skills

Check back for Summer 2024 dates

Penn State CAPS is excited to offer workshops for graduate students to equip them with skills to empower help seeking and provide support.
Topics covered include building foundational helping skills, signs and symptoms of common mental health concerns, and how these intersect with multiple roles & responsibilities as a graduate student.

Incoming Students (LEAP, First-Year, etc.): Helping Skills

Check back for Summer 2024 dates


Penn State CAPS is excited to offer workshops for incoming first-year students to equip them with skills to empower help seeking and provide support.
Topics include building foundational helping skills, signs and symptoms of common mental health concerns, and how these intersect with being a high-achieving college student.

Change of Campus Students: Helping Skills

Check back for Summer 2024 dates

Penn State CAPS is excited to offer workshops for incoming change of campus students to equip them with skills to empower help seeking & provide support.
Topics covered include building foundational helping skills, signs and symptoms of common mental health concerns, and how these intersect with being a college student.

Did you know...

...there are multiple wellness outreach options offered at Penn State?! Our partners at multiple Penn State Student Wellness units (including Campus Recreation, Health Promotion and Wellness, and University Health Services) also offer health education workshops! Program topics include:

  • Resilience, Mindfulness and General Well-being
  • Stress Less
  • Got Sleep?
  • Alcohol Workshop
  • Mission: Nutrition
  • Safer Sex Party
  • How to Help a Friend with an Eating Disorder
  • Health and Wellness Services and Resources at Penn State
Peak Clinical Times
During peak clinical times, CAPS may be unable to fulfill requests. Please be aware that August is commonly a time of high demand. Events are not scheduled during the last week of classes and finals week.

If you are requesting urgent support for a group of students affected by a significant event on campus or in the community call CAPS at 814-863-0395 from Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Outreach Event Inquiries

If you are requesting urgent support for a group of students affected by a significant event on campus or in the community, please contact Dr. Stephanie Stama (slf245@psu.edu).

 

Community collaboration and effective education is a priority. If another resource can best fit your needs, CAPS will help refer and connect you. All requests must come via the Outreach Request Form in order to be processed. Do not send direct requests to CAPS staff.

During peak clinical times, CAPS staff may be unable to fulfill requests. Events will not be scheduled during the last week of classes and finals week.

 

How to make an outreach request:

Before requesting an event...

  • Step 1: Review options: Review the options at the top of this page to see if a pre-existing program or video viewing would suit the needs of your group, including self-paced videos on the following topics:
  • Step 2: Identify your date range:
    • Submit your request at least three weeks prior to the event. 
    • During peak clinical times CAPS may be unable to fulfill requests.
    • CAPS generally pauses engagement in outreach events 2 weeks before the end of the semester.
  • Step 3: Identify a host: If you (the requesting party) are unable to be present at the time of the event/presentation, plan to have a proxy in attendance. The representative elected should be in a leadership role and not an intended audience member. For example, if the president of an organization is unable to be present, another board member would be a reasonable proxy.
  • Step 4: Confirm expected attendance: Please confirm the number of audience members that will be present prior to the event. If you are unable to guarantee attendance, we are happy to discuss a number of other options that may be feasible alternatives to better meet the needs of this group, including Life Hack Kitsthe CAPS Virtual Library, and upcoming events where CAPS will be present.
  • Step 5: Submit a request: If your event meets all of the above criteria, please complete our Outreach Request Form. Do not send direct requests to staff persons at CAPS. All requests must be received via the Outreach Request Form in order to be processed. 

 

 

Media Interview Inquiries

CAPS accepts interview requests from established media outlets in an effort to inform the community about mental health. All requests must come via the Outreach Request Form in order to be processed. Do not send direct requests to CAPS staff.

During peak clinical times, CAPS staff may be unable to fulfill requests. Interviews will not be scheduled during the last week of classes and finals week.

How to make an interview request:
Before requesting an interview...

  • Step 1: Review options: Review the Outreach and Education Resources listed below to see if your questions can most effectively or efficiently be answered by another entity.
  • Step 2: Identify your deadline: Requests must be made with at least one week advance notice.
  • Step 3: Be informed: Become familiar with the CAPS website and pre-recorded webinars for information about our services, including:
  • Step 4: Familiarize with best practices for reporting on suicide and mental health:
  • Step 5: Know what to expect:
    • Interviews are conducted with a CAPS staff member knowledgeable in the subject requested
    • Depending on staff availability within your deadline, responses may only be available via email
    • If another resource can best fit your needs, CAPS will help refer and connect you
    • It is common practice for CAPS staff to request, prior to publishing, to review their quotes, areas where they are named and summarized, and areas where CAPS is named to help your story be as accurate as possible
    • Once published, please send the link to the article or broadcast to the staff you interviewed
  • Step 6: Prepare to outline the following information in the Outreach Request Form. This information is necessary for processing your request:
    1. The name of the media outlet or broadcast program where the story will be published/broadcast
    2. How you plan to take notes.
      • If an interview is approved for recording, we ask that recordings not be transcribed or otherwise submitted through an Artificial Intelligence (AI) generator, chatbot/language model, or other AI system. 
      • If Zoom-based recordings are approved, CAPS will record and provide the reporter with access to the recording.
    3. The premise, aim, and purpose of the story you are reporting on
    4. The topic(s) the interview will be addressing
    5. Other individuals you have spoken with or intend to speak with for this story
    6. Questions you will be asking
      • We understand that impromptu, follow up questions will arise. A general sense of some example questions will help us best address your questions and identify staff members with specialty in the topic to interview, if available.
  • Step 7: Complete the Outreach Request Form

 

Looking to interview a mental health professional for a class assignment?

We invite you to attend an upcoming event to have your questions answered (see the Fall, Spring, and Summer schedules at the top of this page for details on events where CAPS staff are present). There are also a variety of sources on campus and in the local community who can help and are listed on the Outreach & Education Resources list below. 

Outreach and Education Resources

The CAPS Chronicle: 

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Stay up to date on the most recent tools, tips, and events with The CAPS Chronicle!

White card and envelope sitting on desk
Explore in this Section
Outreach Workshops & Education

 

Our events and programs are open to all students regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other protected class. Student Affairs is committed to building a community of belonging for all.