Making a Referral to CAPS

Becoming familiar with CAPS resources and presenting them in a knowledgeable manner to the student may help alleviate some discomfort or uneasiness the student may feel in seeking out services. Explain that your referral to CAPS does not mean that you do not care or want to help the student, or that you think there is something wrong with the student. Below are suggestions for making a referral for crisis and non-crisis situations. A crisis is defined as a situation where the person is in danger of harming self or others and/or displays disorganized speech or behavior, enough to be unable to care for self. If the student is in imminent danger to self or others, please contact University Police at 435-586-1911. If you need help in determining the level of intervention to provide, please call CAPS Counselor on Duty (COD) to consult. The COD may not always immediately be available due to demand for services but can usually return your call within the hour.

Non-Crisis Referrals

  • Give the student the name of the referral, phone number, and location of the office, or walk the student to CAPS if you are concerned that the student will not follow up. You may offer to let the student use your office phone to schedule an appointment if you believe they need extra encouragement and support. Normalize the need to ask for help. It is helpful if you know the name of some staff members at CAPS and can speak highly of them. Express hopefulness and concern for the student, and that difficult situations can and do get better.
  • Understand that your offer of help may be rejected by the student. Students may deny their problems because it is difficult to admit they need help or they hope that things will improve on their own. If you can, take the time to listen to the student’s concerns about seeking help.
  • Ask the student if it is all right to check in with them at a later time, to ensure that they were able to make the connection with CAPS. Keep the lines of communication open.

Crisis Referrals

During SUU Business Hours:

  • If you have an urgent concern about the safety of a student, stay with the student and consult with CAPS staff (435-865-8621). If you believe the student would become a danger to self or others without you there, please call University Police (435-586-1911).
  • If the crisis happens during regular SUU CAPS office hours (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm; Thursday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) call CAPS at 435-865-8621 and ask to speak to the Counselor on Duty (COD). The COD may not always immediately be available due to demand for services but can usually return your call within the hour.
  • Give a description of the situation that has led to your concern, to the COD. The COD will advise you of the appropriate steps to take to help the student which may include a same day crisis appointment for the student, depending on the severity of the student’s concerns. Indicate to the COD that the student will be coming to the office to fill out intake information, which is completed on an iPad. Intake information consists of demographic and academic information as well as the nature of the student’s distress. Please inform the student that CAPS typically has a waiting list during the academic year so that if additional resources are mandated they can be given at that time. Crisis appointments are available Mon-Fri, typically in the afternoon during office hours.
  • At this point, you may either walk the student to the CAPS office personally, or get a good faith commitment from the student that they will go on their own. If they commit to going on their own, follow up with the student within 24 hours to ensure that they were able to receive assistance. Please inform the student that they may need to wait in the CAPS office until the COD is available to visit with them. If they are unable to wait, call University Police for assistance at 435-586-1911. CAPS will not be able to inform you whether or not the student is now a client. Remind the student that services are free and confidential.

Outside of CAPS Business Hours:

  • If the crisis happens outside of CAPS business hours, please call Cedar City Hospital at 435-868-5000. Ask the ER if you can speak with one of the Social Workers. If the student is in imminent danger, or you believe that they’re behavior is out of control, call University Police at 435-586-1911 or call 911.
Confidentiality: We are required by law and by professional ethical standards to protect all communication between counselor and client (except in those cases where harm to self or others is indicated). We cannot discuss the student’s progress or situation with others. In order for us to release information to anyone outside of the CAPS office, we would need to get written permission from the student to do so.