Our Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) staff provide confidential, professional support for more than 20% of Cornell's students each year. Learn more about our providers and our philosophy of care below.
Common reasons students seek care:
- Stress & anxiety
- Depression & loneliness
- Trauma or grief
- Adjustment challenges
- Relationship difficulties
- Questions about identity
- Managing existing mental health conditions
Not a student? Please see our Who We Serve page.
We offer …
- Crisis counseling and intervention – call 607-255-5155 (24/7 for urgent concerns), or come to Cornell Health during business hours
- Individual counseling – short-term one-on-one therapy with a licensed professional counselor (see "How to get care" below)
- Group counseling – free weekly support groups and group therapy on a wide range of topics
- Psychiatry – evaluation and medication management for students also receiving counseling at Cornell Health
- Drop-in consultation – free walk-in “Let’s Talk” walk-in hours at different campus locations, held daily Monday-Friday during the academic year
- Help assisting others – consultation on how to help students in distress (see Concern for Others and Resources for Faculty & Staff)
- Internal referrals – collaboration with Cornell Health’s full range of services, including alcohol and other drug services, nutrition and healthy eating services, and victim advocacy
- External referrals – referrals to other Cornell resources, and (when appropriate) to licensed professionals or agencies in the community (including private practitioners, Family and Children's Services, and Tompkins County Mental Health Clinic)
- The first step to getting care is to schedule a "brief assessment appointment” so we can learn about your needs.These appointments are available to all students.
- Brief assessments involve a 10- to 15-minute phone conversation with a counselor who will ask you some questions, listen to your concerns, help to assess urgency, and explore options for how we might best help you. (If you prefer, you may schedule an in-person brief assessment appointment instead of a phone conversation.)
- To schedule your brief assessment appointment, please log in to myCornellHealth and select “Appointments.” Or call us during business hours at 607-255-5155 (press 3 for appointments). Note: In-person brief assessments must be made by phone.
- Appointments typically are available within 24 hours. Waits will be longer during high times of high demand, especially the beginning of the semester and late in the semester.
- CAPS provides short-term, one-on-one counseling appointments.
- These appointments are for students who have been referred to individual counseling from a brief assessment appointment or by a Cornell Health provider.
- Call us during business hours at 607-255-5155 (press 3 for appointments) to schedule appointments with your counselor or psychiatry team member (routine appointments cannot be made online).
- Appointments usually are available within ten business days for students with more stable concerns; urgent appointments within three business days need. Waits will be longer during high times of high demand, especially the beginning of the semester and late in the semester. We appreciate your patience, and encourage you to contact us if you have an urgent need.
- In the event of a crisis, please call us at 607-255-5155, and identify the situation as an emergency. Press 2 during business hours. After hours, you may consult by phone with our on-call urgent counseling service.
- During business hours, any student with an urgent need can walk into Cornell Health, and we will provide assistance.
Stop by a “Let’s Talk” site for free consultation with a CAPS counselor, available Monday through Friday during the academic year.
Getting help for someone else
Call 607-255-5155. During business hours, press 2 to speak with a member of our CAPS team. For urgent concerns after hours you may consult by phone with Cornell Health's on-call provider. Press 1 for urgent medical concerns, or 2 for mental health concerns.
- Students: please refer to our Concern for Others page for more information.
- Non-students: please refer to our Resources for Faculty & Staff page or our Resources for Parents & Guardians page.
Learn more about ...
Our Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) team includes:
- Clinical Social Workers (LCSW, LMSW)
- Psychologists (PhD, PsyD)
- Board-Certified Psychiatrists (MD)
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (NP, MSN)
- Administrative support professionals
Team members come from diverse cultural, national, and clinical backgrounds, and are trained and experienced in dealing with common concerns faced by college students.
We frequently match students with providers who have areas of expertise that correspond with the student’s needs. If for any reason you feel that you and your provider are not a good match, we will do our best to help you connect with someone with whom you can be comfortable and confident. Please discuss your concerns with your counselor.
Our philosophy of care
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a safe place to talk with someone privately about any concern. Our services are confidential, and designed to help you process and problem-solve regarding issues that may be affecting your quality of life and ability to learn.
Our multicultural staff recognizes that many factors – including culture, racial/ethnic identities, sex, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, political viewpoints, religious/spiritual and/or philosophical beliefs, and physical and cognitive abilities – are salient in students' lives. We value students in all of their individuality, and are committed to welcoming all people with respect and sensitivity.
CAPS providers regularly collaborate with Cornell Health’s medical clinicians to offer integrated services that support both the mind and the body. Care is coordinated through multi-disciplinary care teams, and through a shared electronic health record for every patient / client. Learn more about our integrated model.
Continuing psychiatric care when you're away from campus
CAPS clients with psychiatric prescriptions should plan ahead when leaving campus for the summer, study abroad, or other extended break. You may need to establish care with another provider to continue your medication prescription and management while away. Refer to our Pharmacy page for instructions about how to refill your prescription when you're away from campus.