The mental well-being of the students attending The College of New Jersey has never been more important than it is today. Over recent years, as we have struggled with the effects of a global pandemic and other environmental, economic, political, and social/cultural developments the importance of mental health care and access has seen a steady rise and has become critical in supporting student success.
Summary of CAPS Clinical Services
We will be offering both in-person and virtual (teletherapy) services in the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters. Access to services remains the same – please fill out a “request for service” form for individual or group services (see below). As you complete this, please also choose an appointment time that fits your schedule to receive a follow-up phone call from a CAPS clinician to determine the next steps for treatment. If there are no appointments available at the time you submit your RFS, a CAPS clinician will call you within a day or two. For urgent concerns please walk-in or call CAPS at (609) 771-2247 for screening and to determine the next steps.
Because we are considered a healthcare facility, and to protect both students and staff, masks may still be worn while at CAPS based on the preference of the clinician or the student. If one party requests masks be worn, both parties will be expected to wear one. Masks are always available upon check-in.
CAPS provides group counseling, workshops, brief individual counseling, and referral services to TCNJ students. Services are confidential; no record of counseling appears on the student’s permanent academic record. CAPS is staffed by a team of licensed mental health professionals as well as interns from both master’s and doctoral degree-granting programs, under direct supervision from licensed professionals. During the initial consultation with the student, the student and the therapist will create a plan best suited to meet the student’s needs. Resources that may be included are those within CAPS, other campus offices, and/or through an outside provider. Please see the bottom of this page for the complete Scope of Care.
New for the 2023-2024 academic year, we are pleased to announce a partnership with Uwill, the leading student mental health and wellness solution. Uwill offers students free, immediate, 24/7 access to teletherapy, a direct crisis connection, and wellness programming through its easy-to-use online platform. Register/login to Uwill and choose a therapist based on your preferences including availability, issue, gender, language, and ethnicity. You can also choose a time that fits your schedule with day, night, and weekend availability. Access is quick and easy. You can register and book your first session in just minutes using your school email.
IN THE COMING WEEKS, all TCNJ students will receive emails about UWill with additional information about accessing these supplemental services. Additionally, stay tuned to our digital displays, flyers, and social media for information. For answers to some of your questions about these new behavioral health services please visit our FAQ page.
Please familiarize yourself with MHS services:
Group Counseling – All requests for services are first considered for potential group membership in one of our many groups that range from traditional support groups to more educational group experiences. Unlike individual counseling, group attendance is not time-limited.
Workshops – Typically of brief duration and focuses on specific issues that face college students. Similar to group counseling, workshop attendance is not time-limited.
Individual Counseling – Utilizes a brief counseling model in order to accommodate the many students who request our services. Brief counseling focuses on the issues or concerns at hand, for the resolution of a particular problem. If ongoing, continuous therapy would be helpful (or has been helpful in the past), CAPS will assist the student with the referral process to an outside provider.
Please note: if you are currently being treated by a mental health professional (including a psychiatrist), we recommend you continue that relationship if possible; for example, by scheduling periodic appointments, phone sessions, teletherapy sessions, etc. First-year students may be eligible for a parking permit given availability and if they meet certain criteria. Learn more about parking exception requests.
UWill Teletherapy – A new option for students starting in the fall of 2023. These services will be accessible from anywhere on any device. Students will have access to diverse service providers. Register/login to Uwill and choose a therapist based on your preferences including availability, issue, gender, language, and ethnicity. You can also choose a time that fits your schedule with day, night, and weekend availability. Access is quick and easy. You can register and book your first session in just minutes using your school email.
Teletherapy Office-CAPS has a designated office available for students to use for teletherapy appointments daily from 830 AM to 4 PM. Students are encouraged to call 609.771.2247 to reserve the teletherapy office. Standing reservations can be made for an entire semester.
Let’s Talk – an informal, brief, non-clinical consultation with a mental health professional to access support. gain perspective, explore resources, and discuss how a referral to therapy might be helpful.
Referrals – For those concerns not well matched to a brief model, we offer referrals to local agencies and private practitioners. Check out our new, user-friendly REFERRAL DATABASE.
Also check out The Community Counseling Collaborative, where licensed community providers offer TCNJ students longer-term treatment with offices in Forcina Hall and virtual.
Crisis Intervention and evaluation will be available as needed. In addition to the CAPS urgent walk-in appointments available daily, we have contracted with UWill to offer 24/7 on-demand crisis counseling for all TCNJ students. Access by registering at UWill Register/login
Peer Education – MHS Peer Educators are trained student advocates who are available for information, support, and referrals. Learn more about this program
To begin the process for services at CAPS, please fill out a Request for Services Form (RFS).
To access UWill teletherapy and/or 24/7 crisis counseling, call 833.646.1526 or Register/login here.
(Note: Are you an incoming freshman or looking to apply for services for a future semester? Please refrain from filling out the RFS UNTIL you have arrived on campus for that semester.)
Referrals to Off-Campus Service Providers
Examples of when students would be referred to off-campus service providers include the following:
- Long-term, ongoing individual counseling services would be most helpful and/or have been utilized in the past
- Psychiatric medications and/or refills (also not provided by Student Health Services)
- Psychiatric evaluation (also not provided by Student Health Services)
- Psychological/Educational testing (evaluations for ADHD, etc.) Please contact Disability Support Services for more information.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For urgent situations during business hours, please call 609-771-2247
For Immediate Concerns: Call 911 or Campus Police 609-771-2345
TCNJ UWill crisis coverage call 833.646.1526 or here Register/login
Capital Health Regional Medical Center Emergency Mental Health Services at 609-396-4357
New Jersey Hopeline: 1-855-654-6735
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 or 1-800-273-TALK
Youth Resource 2nd Floor Youth Helpline: 1-888-222-2228
LGBT Resources Trevor Helpline: 1-866-488-7386
GLBT National Helpline: 1-888-843-4564
Trans Lifeline 1-877-565-8860
Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
Scope of Care (Updated Summer 2023):
TCNJ’s clinical services (inclusive of Counseling & Prevention Services, Alcohol and Drug Support Services, and Anti-Violence Initiatives [collectively abbreviated as CAPS]) provide a comprehensive range of mental health services to help students maintain and improve their mental health and emotional well-being. To provide quality care to as many TCNJ students as possible, we offer clinical services based on brief, evidenced-based therapeutic models. Group and individual counseling services offer solution-focused support to help students experiencing concerns impacting their academic and personal goals.
CAPS wants TCNJ students to know that no issue is too big or too small to reach out about. Even when uncertain, students are encouraged to submit a Request For Services via OWL to begin the process of determining the best avenue of treatment and available resources for their concerns. After considering all of the information provided, a decision about whether the needs of the student fall within our scope of clinical care is made by the clinical teams and a plan for treatment is developed, using the best practice standards of care. Possible treatment plans could include: short-term, solution-focused individual therapy, group therapy (available to students without limits for their entire time at TCNJ), case management services linking students to community providers, including to higher levels of care (HLOC) as needed, etc.
Concerns that may be well addressed within the brief therapy model include, but are not limited to:
- Mild to moderate anxiety (stress, worry, guilt, social anxiety)
- Mild to moderate symptoms of depression (sadness, irritability, anger)
- Adjustment and phase of life issues
- Identity development issues
- Interpersonal concerns
- Grief or loss
- Academic performance or motivation
- Symptoms of trauma that are creating current mild to moderate impairment (flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, intrusive thoughts, etc.)
- Mild to moderate substance use concerns
- Mild to moderate body image and eating concerns
- Don’t see your concern on this list? Put in an RFS (Request for Services) anyway to meet with a clinician.
CAPS acknowledges and wants to help the TCNJ community understand the inherent limitations of providing mental health care in a college setting. Certain conditions produce such significant distress and impairment in functioning that more specialized and intensive treatment/services are necessary. In these instances, it is in the student’s best interest to receive appropriate services from another provider, as CAPS is not equipped to provide this level of care.
Students can meet with members of the clinical team for more information on alternative forms of treatment/recommendations if requesting or requiring:
- consistent weekly, specialized, or intensive clinical services,
- feature needs that, as determined by CAPS staff, otherwise cannot be accommodated through our brief services.
CAPS partners with many excellent local mental health providers and can aid you in connecting to these alternative forms of treatment.
Concerns in which the best care for students may be received outside of CAPS include, but are not limited to:
- Needs assessed by the clinical team to best benefit from more than weekly sessions or long-term treatment, or students seeking guaranteed weekly sessions
- Eating disorders requiring intensive treatment and/or medical stabilization.
- Significant alcohol or drug use requiring specialized or more intensive care.
- Complex co-occurring mental health concerns, including substance use disorders
- Non-suicidal self-injury that causes significant injury or is increasing in frequency or severity
- Effects of trauma that require more intensive and specialized care
- A pattern of mood instability and/or functional impairment that results in repeated need for crisis intervention
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors that create a safety risk for the students
- Homicidal thoughts and behaviors that create a safety risk
- Needs that at first appeared to be short-term in nature but after further assessment were deemed to require longer-term care.
- Needs requiring immediate and/or more intensive care than CAPS can provide (e.g., severe disruption in day-to-day functioning)
Services that may NOT be available through CAPS include:
- Treatment that extends beyond a short-term therapy model
- Treatment when students are not enrolled in classes and/or not living on campus during the current academic semester/session (however exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis)
- Intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment
- Assessments and/or treatment mandated by entities outside of TCNJ
- Evaluations to diagnose and/or treat ADHD, or other neurological/neurodevelopmental concerns
- Evaluations or letters for emotional support animals
- Psychological assessments or evaluations for selection, performance prediction, or forensic purposes (e.g., professional school application, employment security assessment, litigation, or legal processes)
- Family Therapy
Notice to Students Seeking Medication Management or Psychiatric Evaluations:
- CAPS does NOT provide psychiatric care (including evaluations for medication, medication management, and psychiatric evaluations)
- Clinicians can help students connect with psychiatric services available through local resources.
Other reasons a student may be ineligible for services or offered a referral to an off-campus provider:
- Persistent lack of engagement in the therapeutic process such as a pattern of missed/canceled appointments, lateness, or failure to comply with critical directives that put a client’s (or others’) health and safety at risk
- Students who are receiving ongoing or simultaneous therapy with another mental health provider
- Students seeking therapy for the sole purpose of obtaining documentation for another office (e.g., Accessibility Resource Center, Residential Education & Housing, etc.)
- Students seeking services while outside the state of NJ (e.g., away over summer break, study abroad, etc.). Due to state licensure laws, our clinicians only provide services to students physically located in New Jersey
- Students required or encouraged to engage in services to meet an academic requirement or solely to gain clinical experience
- Inappropriate, harassing, threatening, or violent language or behavior directed toward clients or staff
- Situations that are determined by the clinician or Director of Counseling Services to be outside the scope of services
As stated above, CAPS encourages TCNJ students to reach out with their concerns. While individual therapy is solution-focused and short-term in nature, CAPS is always available for urgent concerns, to provide case management services to connect to other treatment providers, to provide unlimited group therapy, and more. No student will be turned away.