Why is MCAPS making the change to a rapid-access / stepped-care service model?
In order to improve equity and timeliness of access to mental health services at MCAPS, we will now offer a Rapid Access service model. Every student at The Claremont Colleges requesting MCAPS services will be seen for a brief 20-25 minute initial assessment appointment, generally within a few days of contacting MCAPS. During that initial appointment, students will describe their presenting concerns, and be assessed as appropriate for brief, goal-directed therapy at MCAPS or referred out for long-term, more intensive, or more specialized treatment. These changes are based on recommendations from the review panel that spoke with students, staff and faculty at the 7Cs in the Fall of 2019, and we see these changes as the best way to ensure equitable, timely access to mental health care for all students.
Am I still entitled to 8 individual therapy sessions?
We will no longer use a session-limit model where all students are entitled to 8 sessions specifically. Rather, we will offer this brief initial assessment universally, with the goal of connecting each student as quickly as possible to appropriate mental health care.
Do I have to schedule a brief initial assessment this year at MCAPS, even if I want to continue with a therapist I’ve seen before?
Yes, every student seeking mental health support should first schedule an initial assessment. During that appointment, if the therapist determines the student’s presenting issues are appropriate for brief, goal-directed therapy, they can schedule a therapy intake appointment. In most cases, we can accommodate student requests for a particular therapist, although sometimes this may result in a longer wait for a therapy intake appointment.
Can I request a particular therapist for my brief initial assessment?
Yes, you can certainly request a specific therapist. Please note that requests for a specific person may result in a longer wait for the appointment.
Do I need to schedule a brief initial assessment if I am only seeking psychiatry (medication) services?
No. If you are sure that medication management is the only mental health support you are looking for, it’s OK to schedule a one-hour initial medication evaluation directly with one of the MCAPS psychiatrists. If you are seeking continued medication services with a psychiatrist you have previously worked with, you can schedule a 30-minute ongoing medication check appointment. However, if you are not sure whether you need medication or not, or if you think you may also want other mental health services or referrals, a brief initial assessment is appropriate.
Please note that, due to the complexity of licensing laws and the challenges of providing telehealth care, psychiatrists may not be able to provide medication management for all students in all locations. Please feel free to schedule an initial visit with one of our psychiatrists, and they will consult with you to determine whether telehealth visits are appropriate in your case; if not, we will be glad to assist you in finding the right care in your home area.
Students may also use the following link to request referrals directly: https://services.claremont.edu/mcaps/off-campus-therapy-referral-request/
Can I schedule a brief assessment if I live out of state or out of the country?
Yes, it is fine to schedule a brief assessment if you currently reside outside the state of California, including outside the U.S. The MCAPS therapist will consult with you about what type of mental health support you are seeking and will help you find appropriate care in your local area.
Is MCAPS currently offering in-person appointments?
Beginning in Fall 2020, to ensure the safety of both students and staff, MCAPS will be offering all counseling, assessment, and crisis services via teletherapy or telephone (student’s choice). Group therapy and outreach workshops will also be offered remotely. MCAPS staff will also be present in the office during regular business hours, should an emergency arise that requires an in-person response. However, due to research indicating that extended conversations indoors and in close proximity carry a higher risk of viral transmission, for the time being we are maximizing safety for clients and staff by connecting remotely wherever possible.
Can I still get a crisis appointment?
Yes. Same-day crisis services will be offered just as MCAPS has always offered them; the only difference being that we will offer them remotely (teletherapy or telephone, again this is the student’s choice). Students will also continue to have access to phone crisis services after hours (just call 909-621-8202 and press “1” to be connected to the on-call therapist). Lastly, for the 2020-21 academic year, 7C students have access to 7C.Health – which offers 24/7 on-demand teletherapy services.
Why can’t my therapist see me if I live out of state?
Due to California mental health licensing laws, MCAPS can only offer ongoing teletherapy/telephone appointments (individual or group) to students currently residing in the state of California. Some state laws are different, but we are bound by the laws governing mental health practice in California. Students do not need to be physically on campus to be seen for ongoing therapy (e.g., we can see students living in Northern California during the current semester), but we cannot provide ongoing teletherapy services to a student who is physically based outside of California.
However, we can and will see students via teletherapy/telephone for a one-time consultation, initial assessment, or crisis session. We will work with each out-of-state student (including international students) to provide locally-based referrals for ongoing care. Out-of-state students (including international students) can also participate virtually in drop-in outreach workshops, which will be offered several times per semester focused on a range of topics.