Virtual CAPS Services
CAPS Virtual Services
CAPS is open!
- Just call (814) 863-0395 to get started (M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
- Tele-services, including tele-counseling, are available
- (for enrolled University Park students in eligible states)
- We will schedule you for an initial phone appointment to understand your needs and come up with a plan
In crisis or need immediate support?
- Call CAPS (M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.): 814-863-0395
- Call the 24/7 Penn State Crisis Line: 1-877-229-6400
- Use the 24/7 Crisis Text Line: Text "LIONS" to 741741
- Faculty and Staff – check out the Red Folder - a guide to help you recognize, respond, and refer students to the right resources
Support for Election Stress
Resources for Managing Stress About the Election
- Counseling and Psychological Services
- CAPS Chat: Use our CAPS Chat online appointment scheduling to talk with one of our counselors.
- CAPS Virtual Library: Self-care and coping-focused videos. Some videos serve to inform, validate, and support, while others offer the opportunity for a basic introduction to strategies for coping with specific concerns.
- Ginger Roots: Resources for staying grounded and self-care, as well as some specific to anxiety, COVID-19 considerations, and managing election-related stress.
- WellTrack: A free app for resiliency skills, mood management, and anxiety reduction techniques available at your fingertips.
- You@PSU: Discover hundreds of personalized tips and resources to tackle your academics, career path, stress and social life. Explore. Connect. Repeat. Coping with election stress is also covered.
- Call us: 814-863-0395 to schedule a conversation.
- Use the 24/7 Penn State Crisis Line: 1-877-229-6400
- Text the 24/7 Crisis Text Line: Text “LIONS” to 741741
- Other campus resources are also available for support and may be able to specifically address your needs and concerns related to election stress.
Coping Tools & Tips
- Know your signs of stress and start using effective coping tools now
- Take a deep breath into your stomach, pause, and focus on the present moment
- Nourish your physical body with a balance of sleep, exercise, and nutrition
- Have a good laugh
- Focus on the here-and-now by noticing 3 things you can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste
- Connect with others in creative ways
- Limit your intake of social media and news
- Set boundaries with others in your life who may engage in political debates or unhelpful discussions
- Surround yourself with supportive people who you can stay engaged with via phone, text, video chat, or other socially distant ways
- Listen to uplifting music
- Start journaling your thoughts and feelings
- Reach out to others to let them know you are thinking of them
- Identify 5 things you are grateful for. Repeat tomorrow with a new list
- Express your emotions in a form of art (music, writing, drawing, painting, etc.)
- Gain perspective by engaging with something larger than yourself, such as volunteering, spending time with other living things (animals, nature), and exploring and practicing faith or spirituality
- Find a mindfulness app to guide you through difficult emotions and stressors (examples include Insight Timer, Calm, and Headspace)
- Find healthy distractions, such as going for a walk, exploring a new part of town, watching dogs run around the dog park, reading for pleasure, watching a funny movie, or turning on music to dance (or sing!)
- Get involved in supporting the candidates you feel strongly about
Being Informed and Having Effective Conversations
- How do I determine if the news I’m reading is legitimate?
- Check out the News Literacy Project
- How do I have more civility in my political conversations?
- TED Talk: How to Have Better Political Conversations (Robb Willer)
- TED Talk: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation (Celeste Handlee)
- NYT Article: Talking Across Divides: 10 Ways to Encourage Civil Classroom Conversation On Difficult Issues (Katherine Schulten)
- Arguments are Rooted in Agreement: Center for Democratic Deliberation's deliberative toolkit
- Penn State World in Conversation: A Center for Public Diplomacy
- Cross-partisan communication and politics at Penn State
Virtual CAPS Chat
Now with the convenience of online scheduling!
CAPS Chat provides informal, drop-in consultation for students with counselors from Penn State Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Sessions are free and no appointment is necessary. Students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis and meetings are no longer than 30 minutes.
Simply follow online scheduling instructions on the CAPS Chat webpage to schedule your meeting during designated CAPS Chat hours.
Skills Clinics are a brief, structured form of group counseling focused on a specific topic or theme. In a Skills Clinic five to eight members meet once per week for four to six weeks via Zoom. The primary goal is to offer specific strategies for managing distress and improving day-to-day functioning. Call CAPS to learn if a Skills Clinic is right for you (open for enrolled students in eligible states).
Current clinics offered for Fall 2020 include:
- Mindful Mood Management
- Racial Stress, Trauma, & Empowerment
- Invisible Loss
- Eating Disorder Recovery
- Steady (Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills, which you can learn more about via our Virtual Library).
Therapy groups are a form of psychotherapy, focusing on developing insight and behavior change. CAPS offers therapy groups for all students, including groups for particular populations, and groups for particular concerns. Call CAPS to learn if group counseling is right for you (open for enrolled students in eligible states).
Current therapy groups offered for Fall 2020 include:
- Grief & Loss
- Women's Empowerment
- Eating Disorder Recovery
- Interpersonal Process Groups for...
- Graduate Students
- Undergraduate Students (Understanding Self and Others)
Drop-In Discussion & Support Groups
These groups focus on supporting students through peer discussion. These are not therapy groups. No call to CAPS is required, simply drop on by through each group's individual Zoom link.
Current Drop-In Discussion & Support Groups offered for Fall 2020 include:
- Black and Latino Male Empowerment
- Women of Color Empowerment
- Interfaith Dialogues
- SMART Recovery
- Weekly Wellness: Strategies to Manage Stress and Enhance Your Well-Being
Learn about Penn State's newest virtual service to help you navigate your time and experiences at Penn State. Create a confidential profile to discover hundreds of personalized tips and resources to tackle your academics, career path, stress and social life. Explore. Connect. Repeat.
CAPS Virtual Library
WellTrack is an app and website available to students at any time of day and from any location. WellTrack features a wellness assessment that students can take one time, or on an as-needed basis, to help them understand the activities associated with when they feel better and worse, and to identify patterns in their daily activities and how they are feeling.
CAPS offers psychoeducational programs designed to reduce distress and increase wellbeing. Zoom-based outreach events can be requested for your group.
Thriving Campus is a tool for finding mental health providers in your community.
The Red Folder initiative is a guide to help faculty, staff, and others who interact with students to recognize, respond effectively to, and refer distressed students at Penn State. All faculty, staff, and administration are encouraged to review their physical folder or visit the Red Folder website.