January 9, 2020


SUBJECT:    Commitment to Student-Centered Mental Health Resources

Recent studies assessing the well-being of college students have
highlighted the increasing need for mental health services at
universities across the country, including UC San Diego. As a result,
our campus leaders have been working diligently to better understand
unmet student mental health needs, and how better to address them.

Under the Chancellor’s direction, the Executive Vice Chancellor, the
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and the CEO of UC San Diego Health
are working together to develop new programs to offer students greater
access to mental health services. While this effort continues, it is
important that students are aware of existing services available to
them. These services are described online at
and summarized in this campus notice.

UC San Diego provides a holistic continuum of care, including acute
psychiatric treatment and specialized interventions if needed. These
programs are invaluable to support the mental health and academic
success of all students (undergraduate, graduate, medical, and pharmacy)
who may need assistance solving personal issues or who may require
higher levels of outpatient psychiatric care.

Our cornerstone program is UC San Diego’s Counseling and Psychological
Services (CAPS). CAPS has nearly one dozen locations and embedded staff
across campus, encompassing all of the undergraduate colleges, plus
Galbraith Hall Central Office, Student Health Services, the
International Programs and Students Office, OASIS and the Women’s

All requests begin with a phone consultation (858-534-3755), during
which a variety of services can be accessed, including single drop-in
appointments, urgent appointments, recurring sessions, group classes,
chronic and specialized care (e.g. disordered eating, addiction
services, etc.), and online resources.

Urgent appointments are made same day for a range of circumstances,
including suicidal thoughts, trauma, grief, panic attacks—anything that
is disruptive enough to interfere with daily life and productivity,
cause absence from classes or prevent completion of assignments.
Emergency services are always available to support the mental health and
academic success of students who need the highest level of comprehensive
outpatient psychiatric care.

Because mental health concerns don’t always happen during regular office
hours, appointments are available 24/7 through LiveHealth Online at
This tele-mental health service provides secure, online video visits
with board-certified, licensed mental health professionals. The service
is covered by UC SHIP, and no referral is needed.

All students also have access to free online, interactive resources
through the iFlourish initiative at Therapy
Assistance Online (TAO) facilitates students’ self-care for anonymous
help with anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns through
interactive tools and exercises.

Every UC San Diego student also has access to daily drop-in groups, with
no appointment required. Led by a CAPS mental health expert, topics
include building confidence, managing stress, biofeedback and
self-regulation exercises.

Single counseling sessions are now available and are scheduled quickly.
Topics can include adjusting to college, stress management and more.
Often one appointment can make a big difference.

This month, CAPS will pilot a new video appointment program with CAPS
providers using a secure online platform enabled by Epic—our electronic
health record system. Taking the place of an in-person visit, this
format is ideal for those who commute or who prefer to speak to a CAPS
counselor from the comfort of their own space.

If needed, the College Mental Health Program is offered through UC San
Diego Health and includes subspecialty services in addiction, mood
disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and many other mental
health-related issues. UC San Diego Health employs some of the most
highly regarded mental health physicians in the country.

To help navigate the many choices for student mental health care, a new
webpage detailing answers to frequently asked questions is available at This is an excellent first-line resource to
consult if students are struggling.

Medical and pharmacy students, residents, and fellows in the Health
Sciences also have access to the Healer Education Assessment and
Referral Program (HEAR) that offers confidential support and resources
to those in need. More information on the program is available at

It is important to us that our students know they are not alone in any
trouble they may face during their time at UC San Diego. Students should
never be afraid to ask for help. UC San Diego is committed to promoting
the mental health and well-being of everyone on campus and to creating a
community where all of us flourish.

Pradeep K. Khosla

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor

Patty Maysent
CEO, UC San Diego Health

Alysson M. Satterlund
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs

Maripat Corr
Chair, San Diego Divisional
Academic Senate