CAPS COVID-19 Response

CAPS COVID 19 RESPONSE

KU is migrating to remote learning for the remainder of Spring semester due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. CAPS is responding to these changes by modifying our services. We will be posting information for the KU community on this page as we develop our responses and additional resources for students. Please check back to this page for more information about how our services and availability may change in response to the situation. We are committed to continuing to assist KU students with their mental health needs during this especially stressful time.  Please click here for the latest information from the University.

Updates (as of March 30, 2020)

CAPS has suspended face-to-face contacts to comply with social distancing guidelines. If you need assistance or have a question, don’t hesitate to call 785-864-2277.

Testing Services

Testing services is closed. If you have questions or concerns, contact Celeste Smith at cmsmith@ku.edu or by phone 785-864-2768.

Therapy and Psychiatry

We have suspended initial therapy and initial psychiatry appointments for the week of March 30 – April 3, 2020. We are working on a process to resume initial therapy appointments as soon as possible.

*All group therapy services, outreach programming, and HOPE@CAPS related activities such as peer listening hours and peer support groups have been suspended until further notice.

CAPS is offering individual therapy and psychiatric follow-up appointments for established clients via telephone that are aligned with the laws and regulations pertaining to this practice in the state of Kansas and professional ethical guidelines. We are contacting students who have individual therapy appointments and psychiatric follow-ups scheduled to inform them of this change. If you have an appointment scheduled for this week or any following week, please contact CAPS for information about how this change will proceed.

If you are experiencing an urgent mental health issue, please call CAPS at 785-864-2277 and we will discuss the options for care.

After hours messages may be left on the CAPS voicemail. Messages will be answered the next business day. If you or someone you know needs service outside of CAPS hours, resources in the Lawrence community include:

                        •   Lawrence Memorial Hospital - 785-505-5000

                        •   Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center - 785-843-9192

                        •   Headquarters Counseling Center - 785-841-2345

You can also contact the community mental health center or other mental health agency in your local community.

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room or community mental health center.

Finding a Therapist in Your Home Community

For more information on how to connect with a therapist in your home community, please visit this page https://caps.ku.edu/how-find-therapist-your-community. You may also contact CAPS at 785-864-2277 for assistance with this process.

Managing Concerns and Emotions about COVID-19

News reports about the coronavirus, together with concerns that the virus could become more widespread, is raising a number of concerns and making some people worry. Learn more about taking care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty here. https://afsp.org/taking-care-of-your-mental-health-in-the-face-of-uncertainty/

Here's another link that may also be of help: https://www.apa.org/practice/programs/dmhi/research-information/social-distancing

Below are some additional tips to help you put information and concerns in perspective, manage your worry, and maintain a positive outlook.

TIPS

                        •   Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here are some reliable sources of information:

                        https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

                        https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

                        •   Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and stay focused on what the situation actually is, rather than the worst-case-secenario. It can be helpful to shift your focus to things within your control rather than things outside of your control.

                        •   Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties.

                        •   Maintain your normal day-to-day activities and keep connected. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own worry. If your day to day activities are disrupted by college closings, attempt to create structure in your day by: scheduling a normal bedtime and wake up time; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading, etc; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and famiy.

                        •   Follow the prevention and protection tips given by medical professionals such as Watkin's Health Services, national medical authorities, and your own medical doctor.

                        •   Practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.

                        •   Seek supports & use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about on-campus and off-campus resources that are available. If you are someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others, or contact the Counseling Center or the Student Affairs office. Your campus community is here to help!

                        •   Avoid stigmatizing or generalizing. Remember to keep in mind the kindness and empathy with which we strive to treat one another at all times as we address this challenge together. Be aware of your behavior or attitudes change towards others from another country, and avoid stigmatizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus. Often when there is uncertainty, our thoughts can become less compassionate and more fear-based.

                        •   More tips can be found here. https://theconversation.com/7-science-based-strategies-to-cope-with-coronavirus-anxiety-133207

RECOGNIZING DISTRESS - A SELF-CHECK LIST

                        •   Increased worry, fear and feelings of being overwhelmed

                        •   Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify

                        •   Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased academic or work performance or performance of other daily activities

                        •   Sleep difficulties

                        •   Excessive crying

                        •   Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations

                        •   Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)

                        •   A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future

                        •   Sudden anger or irritability, or noticeable changes in personality

SEEKING SUPPORT

It's not unusual to experience some - or even several - of the types of distress listed above during times of uncertainty and stress. If you notice these signs in yourself, reach out to family and friends for support, and engage in your usual healthy coping strategies (e.g. moderate exercise; eating well; getting adequate sleep; practicing yoga, meditation, or some other mindfulness activity; take time for yourself; engage in a hobby or other fun activity, etc).

Adapted from:  Amherst College – “Counseling Center: COVID-19 News and Updates” (https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/health-safety-wellness/counseling/covid-19-news-and-service-changes)


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