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CAPS Encourages Students to Utilize On-Campus Resources

Jessica Piland

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) aims to help students who seek mental health support. Their offices are located on the third floor of the Student and Community Counseling Center. 

CAPS offers individual and group counseling. The services are free and confidential. They offer services for students who are dealing with emotional and behavioral health struggles. 

Interim Dean and Professor at the Marieb College of Health & Human Services, Dr. Shawn Felton, believes CAPS is important on this campus and thinks it is especially important because a large percentage of the university uses these services.

“CAPS sees a larger percentage of our students compared to other institutions our size. CAPS is invaluable to our students and further contributes to student’s success in ways that are often not recognized,” Felton said. 

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Felton said the most underused aspect of CAPS is the rapid access consultation service called CAPS Chat. 

“This is a full-hour introductory session that allows students to discuss their needs and options. Many students find that this single session is a great way to start and consider what is best to address their needs,” Felton said. 

Senior Director of Counseling and Wellness, Dr. Jon Brunner, is a founding member of the FGCU staff, having been there since 1996. As the senior director, he oversees CAPS.

Brunner touts the program’s four pillars of service. The pillars include training and education, Consultation and Collaborative Services, Outreach and Prevention Programming and Clinical Services. 

Consultation and Collaborative Services emphasizes consulting with faculty, staff and students. Outreach and Prevention Programming provides training for suicide prevention, therapy dogs and peer coaching. 

One of the therapy dogs is named Luna. Luna is a pug who rides in her tiny car around campus during events. Students are free to pet Luna if they see her. 

Clinical Services involves more traditional services such as individual and group counseling sessions, crisis intervention and psychiatric services. Training and education involves a year-long training by the American Psychological Association doctoral training program. 

CAPS has a four-week steppingstone program which is a workshop for students with anxiety, depression or relationship troubles. They also have dietician services. 

A portion of the program Brunner wishes to highlight is the TogetherAll program. The program is free to sign up for and is an opportunity to talk to other students about issues they may have. Over 200 FGCU students have signed up and are actively a part of the program.

“It’s a way to connect students with other students with similar issues,” Brunner said. 

Students’ tuition includes the CAPS resources, and students are then free to use the services provided while enrolled at FGCU. 

The CAPS staff is focused on ensuring that students have the best services possible. Felton believes they have a fantastic team.

“Our staff of professionals demonstrate the epitome of the profession. We are lucky to have such a talented and dedicated staff. Side note, I love Luna, our pet therapy dog,” Felton said.

Students can book an appointment, either in-person or telehealth, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If students need any of the services offered or have any questions, call CAPS at (239) 590-7950.

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About the Contributors
Tim Belizaire
Tim Belizaire, Eagle News Assistant Photo Editor
Tim Belizaire is a junior majoring in journalism. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to Cape Coral when he was 12. His goal is to either venture into photojournalism or investigative journalism. Tim spends his free time taking pictures or listening to Lana Del Rey for hours.
Jessica Piland
Jessica Piland, Eagle News Photo Editor
Jessica Piland is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in global studies. She found her passion for photography during her senior year of high school after shooting some film for fun with her grandfather’s camera from the 80s. In addition to her work as photo editor for Eagle News, she works as a staff photographer for FGCU Athletics and is a photography intern with the University Marketing and Communications department. As she enters her third year as photo editor, she is excited for the fun stories, campus events, and breaking news that Eagle News will be covering!

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