CAPS Chat provides informal, drop-in consultation for students with counselors from Penn State Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Meetings are free, one-time, and no longer than 30 minutes. No appointment is necessary: students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Are you enrolled at a Commonwealth Campus? CAPS Chat is available at some Commonwealth Campuses!
You can simply schedule online when it's convenient for you! Read on for details about whether CAPS Chat is right for you and how to attend.
Concerns may include:
- Stress or Anxiety
- Adjusting to college life
- Family problems
- Relationship issues
- Roommate difficulties
- Academic pressures
CAPS Chat IS for...
- Discussing specific concerns in a one-on-one environment
- Learning more about what counseling might be like
- Understanding how to help a friend
- Getting mental health questions answered
CAPS Chat IS NOT for...
- Formal therapy or counseling
- Crisis services
- Severe or longstanding concerns
Virtual CAPS Chat
What can I expect from Virtual CAPS Chat?
First, make sure to have:
- A stable internet connection
- Access to a webcam
- A private location with no distractions
If you are unable to access any of the above, CAPS can still help you navigate to services that can meet your needs! Call us at (814) 863-0395.
How Do I Attend Virtual CAPS Chat?
- Starting at 8:00 a.m. the day you wish to attend a CAPS Chat meeting you can click the link to our online scheduling form
- Enter the code: chat2020
- Follow the instructions on the screen
CAPS Chat is a drop-in service: online scheduling opens at 8:00 a.m. the same day of the CAPS Chat meeting you are looking to schedule.
If openings are unavailable, you will be presented with a message indicating that no appointments are available and inviting you to visit the CAPS website or contact the CAPS main line for assistance to best meet your needs: (814) 863-0395.
When your Virtual CAPS Chat meeting begins:
Safety is our #1 priority: at the beginning of your meeting the CAPS Chat counselor will confirm your current location, as well as a phone number where you can be reached in the event of technological difficulties.
After a brief introduction to CAPS Chat, you will have some time to share your needs and concerns. Not sure what you need? No problem. CAPS Chat counselors can help you figure that out too.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are CAPS Chat meetings private?
While CAPS Chat is not formal counseling, information discussed is confidential. If you have questions about this, ask a CAPS Chat counselor.
- I am waiting to be assigned to a CAPS clinician. Can I come to CAPS Chat?
If you feel you need to be seen sooner for your concern because problems have intensified, it is best to contact CAPS at 814-863-0395. If you feel your concern has improved and feel an informal consultation meeting would meet your needs, CAPS Chat might be a good option for you. After meeting, if you would like to be removed from the wait list, let the CAPS counselor know.
- I am currently seeing a therapist. Can I come to CAPS Chat?
Discussing concerns with your current therapist is strongly recommended. If your next appointment is not soon enough, it is best to contact your counselor directly to see if he or she can see you sooner.
- What if I cannot attend CAPS Chat hours?
Call CAPS at 814-863-0395. They can help answer your questions or find resources that may help meet your needs.
- What should I do in an emergency?
If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, immediately contact the Penn State Crisis Line at 1-877-229-6400 or call 911.