Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information to correct a factual error. Counseling and psychology services currently operate in a hybrid format.
A previous version of this article indicated that CAPS was working virtually, with plans to move to a hybrid format. He also erroneously stated that the lack of air circulation in campus rooms was a motivating factor for virtual services.
The South End regrets the mistakes.
Wayne State Counseling and Psychological Services is operating in a hybrid format this semester.
Therapy sessions are currently being conducted virtually. Staff have found this to have several benefits, including flexibility, accessibility and increased time efficiency, Kastely said.
In-person services are available upon request. Initial consultations will be done remotely and if in-person services are requested, CAPS will work to find a counselor to provide those services, Director Jeffrey Kuentzel said.
“It’s safe to meet with a lawyer (or) at CAPS…” Kuentzel said. “It really comes down to getting vaccinated and wearing a mask.”
CAPS moved to fully virtual operations in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Stephanie Kastely, CAPS Academic Advisor.
“For our services at CAPS, we had to change our service delivery model so we got certified and trained to provide telehealth and so we started providing telehealth when Wayne State went virtual due to the pandemic. We are still providing telehealth right now,” she said.
CAPS began the transition to virtual operations by training staff on how to provide telemental health services, Kastely said.
“We all had additional training, and I feel we were able to reach students via telehealth that we might not have been able to reach with in-person-only services,” Kastely said.
CAPS has adapted to increased student demand this semester, Kastely said.
“Usually the fall and winter semesters are our busiest semesters…and with students returning to campus, we have seen an increase in the number of students requesting services…” Kastely said. “Our counselors here, myself included, have really stepped up. We’ve moved our schedules around to make sure we can accommodate even more initial consultations during the week, so students can be seen faster.”
CAPS has received positive feedback from students about its virtual operations during the pandemic, Kuentzel said.
“We’ve had a satisfaction survey, and we’ve had about 160 completed since the pandemic and there’s not a single complaint from a student about not being able to meet with an advisor face-to-face or in person” , Kuentzel said. .
Among survey participants, 33% said they had no preference for being in-person or virtual, and an additional 33% said they preferred virtual.
Kuentzel said he established a committee made up of psychiatrists, support staff, administrators and advisers to continually reassess the future state of CAPS operations.
“We have a committee at CAPS — the back-to-campus committee, we meet weekly to figure that out, we’re more cautious and we’re not rushed,” Kuentzel said. “We are still building aspects of a hybrid CAPS. We’re not there yet, but we’ve made a lot of progress. »
Senior Shanmin Sultana said she has not used CAPS services, but believes its hybrid format is beneficial for students.
“Offering students the choice between virtual or in-person will make mental health services more accessible at Wayne State, which should be a good thing,” she said.
CAPS is ready to help any students in need this semester, Kastely said.
“I work with clients who don’t really come for a problem, they’ve taken care of their mental health, they come because they’re proactive,” Kastely said. “This is a free service here for you as a Wayne State student, why don’t you give us a try?”
Savanah Rayyan is a contributing writer for The South End. She can be contacted at [email protected]
Cover photo by Quinn Banks, The South End’s media editor. He can be reached at [email protected]