Seattle U Offers Various Resources for Students’ Mental Health and Academic Needs

At Seattle University, offices and programs offer various services to help students, faculty and staff balance the stressors they may encounter during the academic school year. Given the extraordinary circumstances of living in the midst of a pandemic, Seattle U has increased its resources available to the Redhawk community. 

Seattle U’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a variety of services to students enrolled at the school via a virtual setting. Some of these services include short-term individual teletherapy, consultations, online mental health screenings and library access. All services from CAPS are free and confidential. 

Short-term individual therapy allows students to work with a therapist at CAPS based on clinical need. Most students average about five sessions, but are allowed to attend up to 10 sessions in an academic year if deemed necessary. Students can either call to schedule an appointment or visit the website for more information.

CAPS clinicians are also able to refer students to therapists and medication management providers off-campus. For more long-term needs, students should talk to the CAPS case manager to discuss what would be best for their individual needs. 

All students, faculty, staff and people concerned about Seattle U students can consult with someone from CAPS. People can contact CAPS for consultation requests by email or phone. Additionally, students can take a mental health screening to address concerns. However, CAPS advises that these screenings are not for diagnostic purposes or in place of a meeting with a therapist. 

Another service CAPS offers is outreach programming, where members of the Seattle U community can attend workshops and other programming to learn about mental health issues. 

CAPS provides training workshops to faculty and staff on Mental Health First Aid and Suicide Prevention for Campus Responders. Members of the Seattle U community also have full access to the Sanvello app, which has various tools to help with symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. Anyone with a valid Seattle U email address has free access to the premium content of the app. CAPS also offers a video library that covers various mental health topics like anxiety, mindfulness and self-care. 

Director of CAPS and licensed psychologist, Kimberly Caluza, recommended that students reach out to people they trust in their life if struggling with mental health, and to remain honest in their communication about how they feel.

“This may be a friend, family member, academic advisor, residence hall advisor, campus minister, professor or another acquaintance or staff person on campus. Let people know. This allows others the opportunity to support you. There are many supportive individuals on campus who want to help and be a resource,” Caluza said in a written statement. 

Additionally, it is important to note that CAPS’ clinicians are only licensed by the state of Washington’s Department of Health. This means that students who are currently outside the state cannot be provided mental health services from these clinicians. However, CAPS can still assist with referrals to mental healthcare providers for students in their respective location. 

Seattle U also offers resources through the Learning Assistance Programs (LAP) on campus. LAP offers academic support to students through individual meetings, tutoring as well as through workshops throughout the quarter. 

Students are able to meet with a Learning Specialist to learn about their personal study efforts. In these individual consultation appointments, students discuss their strengths and weaknesses in studying. The goal of these sessions is for students to develop strategies to guide them in navigating the academic quarter. Individual consultations can be booked on the LAP website.

LAP provides peer tutoring for students in an individual or group setting. Tutoring services are available in subjects such as science, math, nursing and forgein languages. For subjects not offered by LAP, students can work with a Learning Specialist during an individual consultation. LAP offers tutoring on both a weekly and drop-in basis. The LAP website has further information. Tutoring services for accounting, economics and business communication are being offered by the Albers School of Business and Economics.

Given the difficulty of transitioning to online learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students may find themselves in need of extra assistance. Second-year nursing student Desiree Hernandez took advantage of group tutoring services for her anatomy and physiology course during the winter and spring quarters of 2020. 

“I had a really good experience with LAP. We met weekly in person before school was closed due to COVID-19. My tutor was especially helpful during the transition from in-person to virtual class,” Hernandez said. 

Hernandez’ peer tutor also helped her transition to online learning in order for her to be successful during these difficult times.

“She reached out to both my friend and I to make sure we were safe and transitioning well. While everything was so uncertain during the first few months of quarantine, she was there for us to help with our courses and anything else we needed,” Hernandez added.

About four times a quarter, LAP offers strategy workshops. The next workshop will be held March 2 and will be focused on preparation for finals. The Zoom meeting ID for the meeting is 923 4650 0142.

Director of LAP Angelique Jenkins suggests students be proactive when looking for academic resources and help. She wants students to know that the LAP is available for everyone, not just those that may be struggling in a course. 

“Our services are meant to support what happens in the classroom and really help students find an outlet to compliment their learning,” Jenkins said. “We encourage students to be proactive when accessing the resources. There are different services to meet your needs, so don’t wait until you’re drowning to reach out for help.”

To make appointments with the LAP, students need to use TutorTrac. Students can log on with their Seattle U credentials, and are able to view available appointments and sign up for various tutoring needs. 

Seattle U also has resources available from the Wellness and Health Promotion. For other accommodations, students may reach out to Disability Services or visit their website