Counseling & Psychiatry

Upcoming changes to services 

Beginning in Fall 2019, we will offer same-day counseling appointments and greater flexibility in visit types. Learn more here.

Urgent concerns

CALL 607-255-5155

If you have an urgent mental health concern – for yourself or for someone else – call us to consult:

  • During business hours – Press 2 to reach a CAPS counselor
  • When we're closed – You will be connected with our on-call service to talk with a licensed therapist. Press 2 for mental health concerns (see Emergencies & After-Hours Care for details).

Refer to "Trusted Resources" below for recommended crisis lines and chat services.

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 …

How to get care

First appointments:

  • 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.

Individual counseling:

  • 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.

Urgent appointments:

  • 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.

Drop-in consultation:

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.

Learn more about ...

Our providers

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

[Meet our staff]

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.