Consultation with CAPS Staff
CAPS provides mental health consultation to the UH community by focusing on the mental health implications for the UH community, overall consultation strives to enhance the psychological well-being of the UH community. Consultation involves 3 main parties:
- Consultant: CAPS liaison or Consultant on Duty
- Consultee: UH Faculty or UH Staff Member
- Individual(s) of Concern: UH Student or UH Faculty or UH Staff Member
Consultation with the UH community involves evaluating situations and supporting the intervention of UH faculty and staff in reported situations to manage difficult situations effectively (i.e., traumatic events, grief debriefing, distressed emails, etc.) with individual(s) of concern. When providing consultation we clearly define our roles as consultants and clarify that our obligation is to the consultee and to the university. When providing consultation, we are guided by APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and the Mission Statement of the University of Houston. The goals of consultation at CAPS are to improve the current and future functioning of the consultee and to enhance services to individual(s) of concern. CAPS staff is available to consult if you have any mental health questions or concerns regarding any individual.
CAPS Consultation Process
- Stage I: Entry
Exploring the Needs of the Consultee and Individual(s) of Concern, Discussing Roles, Discussing Confidentiality
- Stage II: Diagnosis
Gathering Information, Defining the Problem, Setting Goals, Generating Possible Interventions for Consultee to Implement and possible referral to CAPS
- Stage III: Implementation
Choosing an Intervention, Formulating a Plan, Implementing the Plan, Evaluating the Plan
- Stage IV: Disengagement
Evaluating the Consultation Process, Planning Post-consultation Support, Reducing Involvement and Following Up, Finalizing Process, Addressing Future Consultation Possibilities
Reasons to Consult with CAPS
- Notable change in academic performance, such as deteriorating class work, excessive procrastination, decrease in class attendance, disruptive behavior; papers with themes of distress, hopelessness, death, violence, etc.
- Overly dependent—the individual hangs around or makes excessive appointments to see you
- Repeated requests for special consideration (e.g., deadline extensions)
- Distressed emails or voicemails
- Physical changes—especially sudden weight loss or gain, deteriorating personal hygiene, extreme fatigue lasting beyond a day or two
- Withdrawal and isolation from others (relative to personal norms)
- Inability to concentrate or make decisions despite repeated attempts to clarify, encourage
- Bizarre or strange behavior which is obviously out of place, e.g. talking to someone/thing that is not present (i.e., hallucinating or delusional)
- Impaired speech and disjointed thoughts
- Frequent or high levels of irritable, argumentative, abrasive or aggressive behavior
- Overreaction to criticism or mistakes, agitation
- Overly emotional:
- Euphoria; unusually fast, non-stop, tangential speech; grandiose; extreme impulsivity or the opposite—sad, despondent, tearful; lethargic, non-responsive
- Threats or acts of violence to self or others; increase in risk-taking behavior
How to Consult with CAPS
- Call your assigned CAPS liaison to consult.
- If you have an urgent question or concern, call the CAPS front office at (713) 743-5454 and ask to speak with the consultant on duty.
- Be prepared to inform the CAPS consultant of the problem and clearly state your needs (e.g., "I received a distressed email and I need to know how to respond to the email…").
- Be prepared to answer questions from the CAPS consultant so they can gain pertinent information to effectively support you.
- Be prepared to collaborate with the CAPS consultant on the intervention plan; at times it is most effective for individual(s) of concern to have you involved in the intervention with CAPS support.
How to Refer an Individual to CAPS
If you have concerns for the student’s immediate safety or the immediate safety of another, contact 911. Safety precedes treatment. Depending on the situation, you can help facilitate an appointment by:
- Having the student call CAPS in your presence and asking them to schedule an appointment. They may request a same-day appointment if they have an urgent concern.
- Calling CAPS and asking to speak with a consultant on duty for consultation.
- Calling CAPS and asking to speak to a consultant on duty to indicate that you are concerned about a student’s well-being and that you will be walking them over to CAPS. You may then escort the student to CAPS.
You can always call CAPS to speak with a consultant on duty if you have any mental health questions or concerns regarding any student, staff, or faculty.