Frequently Asked Questions About Referrals

Emergency Contacts

Why might I be recommended to meet with an off-campus provider? CAPS provides individual therapy to best serve as many students as possible. Many students have concerns that are best supported by off-campus providers who can offer more sessions over a longer period of time than CAPS. In addition, there may be specialists in the community who can better meet your specific needs.

Why do some students prefer off-campus care? Students may prefer to see a provider off-campus for a variety of reasons. Some students feel off-campus treatment is more private, others prefer to have a wider choice among providers, and private providers may also offer more availability (e.g., evening and weekend appointment times). Additionally, some students receive referrals from their providers at home for off-campus treatment. Finally, there are some services that are simply not available at CAPS, such as intensive therapy, substance abuse treatment, and eating disorder treatment.

Will my health insurance pay for off-campus care? Health insurance can often help with the cost of off-campus psychological services. The best source of information about your coverage and benefits is your health insurance company. For more information, see Utilizing Your Health Insurance.

What if I don’t have health insurance or I don’t want to use my health insurance? CAPS maintains a list of community organizations and agencies that offer mental health services for a low cost or sliding scale fee that is usually based on your income. There are also providers who realize that some students can’t afford their fees and may be willing to offer a reduced fee.

What if I have trouble finding a provider or I don’t like anyone I have found? A good match between the provider and student is important. We cannot guarantee the match and quality of care you receive from private providers, and it is important to make a choice that works for you. Sometimes the first provider you meet will be a good match, but other times this is not the case. If you received a referral list from CAPS and none of the providers on the list are right for you, you can contact CAPS to receive additional referrals or you can utilize the websites listed on the Find a Community Provider page to identify additional potential providers.

How do I get information about potential providers? You can obtain more information about a provider by asking that person about their credentials. You can contact the state licensing board to confirm that person’s license. For example, to confirm whether a provider is licensed in Virginia, you may use the License Lookup website ( You can confirm the licenses of a variety of mental health professionals, including psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, and psychiatrists, using this website. You can often find additional information about providers by performing an internet search or using websites such as those listed on the Find a Community Provider page to search for providers.

All I need is a prescription refill. Can I get that at CAPS? If you are taking medication for a psychological/psychiatric condition, it is important that you are monitored by a clinician while taking your medications, even if your condition has been stable. CAPS has a part-time psychiatrist who mainly sees students for a limited period of time with the goal of getting them started on and adjusted to their medications. After this, students are recommended to seek treatment with an off-campus practitioner who can provide them with ongoing care.