A guide to getting started with accessing rehabilitation services on campus

Rachael Garner/File

With so many different types of rehabilitation services and programs available on the UC Berkeley campus, from psychiatric therapy to drug rehabilitation to physical therapy to vocational rehabilitation to everything in between, gaining access to these resources can be confusing, especially in times of need. There are an abundance of different conditions and causes that rehabilitation can treat, and sometimes it can be unclear where to start when it comes to finding or utilizing these services. And, with barriers due to location and the stigma of reaching out for help, it can be uncomfortable or difficult to access these types of services. The following is a general guide to help anyone seeking rehabilitation in any shape or form find a starting place on campus and demystify the process of seeking out these services.

For starters, if you or anyone you know is seeking rehabilitation services or counseling on campus, UC Berkeley’s University Health Services, or UHS, is a one-stop shop and starting point for all health and wellness related matters directly on campus. If you are seeking to help another student you may be concerned about, UHS also offers several options, which are detailed under its “Getting Help for Students of Concern” page. Through UHS, there are a variety of services and helpful resources to learn more about or start the process of rehabilitation:

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

University Health Service’s Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS, is completely free of charge to get started regardless of insurance plan, so long as you are a registered student. This service offers all sorts of counseling, including short-term counseling for academic, career and personal issues, as well as psychiatry services for circumstances when medication can help with counseling. The staff at CAPS is extensively trained in psychology and human behavior and possesses a wide range of experience in working with many different situations. CAPS strictly protects the confidentiality of information shared during its sessions.

To get started with counseling, CAPS can be accessed through any of these options:

  1. Call (510) 642-9494 or head to the eTang patient portal to schedule a phone triage with a CAPS staff member to assess your needs and direct you to the most appropriate counselor. Phone consultations typically last 15 minutes and will help you determine next steps.
  2. Head over to CAPS’s Satellite Locations Let’s Talk drop-in hours for nonurgent issues. Let’s Talk is a free, confidential program available to any student at various locations around campus, including Cesar Chavez, Eshleman Hall, Hildebrand Hall and the Multicultural Community Center. Check UHS’s Let’s Talk site for further details and hours. No appointment is necessary.
  3. Urgent counseling, which is available on a drop-in basis Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the third floor of the Tang Center. No appointment is necessary.

Following any of these initial steps, a CAPS staff member will determine next steps and direct you to the best resource, which may include short-term, group or psychiatric counseling at CAPS, or a referral to other resources or rehabilitation programs and services on campus.

Social Services

Yet another access point for rehabilitation services on campus through University Health Services is the Social Services department, which “is comprised of a team of multidisciplinary and multicultural professional counselors, dietitians and support staff,” who will “assess a student’s immediate needs, whether they are medical, academic, legal, emotional, financial or family-related.” The Social Services staff will then work with students to develop an action plan to meet their needs, oftentimes collaborating with other medical, mental health or administrative staff from UHS and facilitating arrangements with referrals to campus offices and resources in the broader community. There are no fees for getting started.

Social Services provides individual counseling, group counseling and consultation. Individual counseling provides support services for:

  • Alcohol and other drugs, including problems related to one or a family member’s use
  • Chronic medical condition or new diagnosis
  • Eating disorder and body image
  • Medical withdrawal administration
  • Nutrition
  • Pregnancy resources and referrals
  • Relationship violence, stalking or other violence
  • Sexual health
  • Sexual violence
  • Victims of crime

Group Counseling within Social Services includes a Harm Reduction Group, How the Body Remembers: Pathways to Wellness, Healing & Thriving, Heal & Connect: Sexual Assault Survivor Group and a Queer Men’s Group.

To access the Social Services department, visit the second floor, Room 2280 of the Tang Center, or call (510) 642-6074 or visit its Satellite Offices at University Village and the Student Parent Center.

Zenaida Hernandez, a licensed clinical social worker, is at University Village on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and has drop-in hours at the Student Parent Center on Wednesdays at (510) 520-7031. Nicole Kallas, the wellness counselor, is available on Mondays and Tuesdays at University Village and Wednesdays through Fridays at the Student Parent Center. To make an appointment with her, call (510) 561-8199.

Accessing rehabilitation services on campus may seem like a daunting endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. By utilizing these initial access points available right here on campus, a clearer path to rehabilitation, whatever kind it may be, can be in sight.

Chloe Lelchuk is the blog editor. Contact Chloe Lelchuk at [email protected].