Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services staff is deeply saddened by the recent traumatic events in California and elsewhere. During this time, we would like to kindly encourage students to utilize our Let's Talk services. Let's Talk is a drop-in consultation service available to all currently enrolled students. All Let's Talk times take place in UC 528 (University Center, 5th Floor).

Our Let's Talk times are:

Monday: 1-2 PM; 3-4 PM

Tuesday: 12-1 PM

Wednesday: 11 AM-1 PM

Thursday: 12-1 PM

Friday: 1-2 PM

Dealing with a Death on Campus

While you are working through your reaction to the recent death of a student/friend on campus, please be aware of the following common responses that you or someone close to you may be experiencing.

Emotional/Mental Responses: 

  • Shock/Disbelief
  • Fear/Anxiety/Despair
  • Difficulty believing what has happened
  • Feelings of loss and emptiness
  • Feeling sadness and heavy
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Irritability, sudden anger
  • Guilt about not being able to keep the person alive
  • Difficulty remembering details of recent events
  • Guilt for surviving
  • Need to cling to others
  • Confusion/Difficulty concentrating
  • High need for information
  • Helplessness/Hopelessness
  • Thinking “no one can understand what I’ve been through”
  • Wanting to withdrawal from others
  • Crying
  • Fear of being alone
  • Feelings of rejection

Physical Responses

  • Not being able to sleep
  • Change in appetite
  • Nightmares/Flashbacks
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Muscle tension
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Self-destructive behaviors/Thoughts of self-harm

If you are feeling some of these responses, it is important for you to talk with someone right away. These are normal reactions to an abnormal situation but still need to be addressed.  It is okay to both mourn the person’s passing while holding intense feelings about the circumstances around their death. Reaching out to a friend/family member is a first step but talking with a trained professional including a counselor or medical professional is a good idea. You don’t have to do this alone.

What You Can Do………….

  • Recognize your own feelings.  It is not abnormal or “crazy” to have strong feelings and unanticipated reactions.
  • Talk about the loved one who died with friends, family and or/professional.  If you did not know the person, it is still okay to feel sadness and grief.  Losing someone in your community, even if you were not close to them, can still be traumatic.  It can also trigger prior loss.
  • The grief process is an individual experience and can be different for everyone.  Do what is right for you and be tolerant of other people’s reactions – their irritability and short tempers.  There is no specific time to grieve or “get over it”.  Grief takes as long as it takes.
  • Talk to others about your feelings.  Talking helps relieve stress and helps you realize that your feelings are shared by others.  You are not alone.  
  • Take care of yourself.  Get enough rest, eat properly and get some exercise.  Take time off to do something you enjoy.  Pace yourself.  Grief can be difficult and tiring.
  • Avoid drugs or alcohol or other unhealthy ways to cope.  This usually just prolongs the grief process.
  • Learn relaxation exercises and consider prayer or meditation to help you relax.
  • Concentration will likely be affected but try to ease back into school/work and resume your normal activities as soon as possible.  Take it slow.  Talk to professors directly if you are struggling.
  • Do not allow yourself to become isolated from others.  Accept help from others and offer help to others.
  • Be patient.  There may be days that you feel great and there may be setbacks.  Be aware of triggers both mental and physical. 

**Please feel free to contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 415-422-6352

PLEASE NOTE: Effective Jan. 1, 2019, CAPS will be instituting an appointment no show fine of $30 for any missed appointment (intake, individual counseling, etc). We are doing this in an effort to increase available appointments for students seeking services.

Students will be charged a no show fine under the following circumstances:

  •  You do not contact CAPS and do not attend your scheduled appointment

  • You contact CAPS to cancel your appointment after your scheduled appointment time


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) seeks to assist students in developing greater self-understanding and help resolve problems that interfere with their optimal personal functioning. It is normal to experience adjustment problems, especially during periods of transition. CAPS provides brief therapy to any enrolled students.

Although CAPS staff strive to see students as expediently as possible, there are times during the semester when the center is heavily impacted, most often during midterm and final exams. The typical wait for service is 2 weeks.

Students will be seen the same day for mental health emergencies. Please see crisis criteria below:

Student is in IMMEDIATE danger Student is NOT IN IMMEDIATE danger
CURRENT intention or plan to attempt suicide or to inflict bodily harm on someone else Anxiety/ panic attack
WITHIN THE PAST 4 WEEKS tried to kill themselves or seriously harm someone else Stress
WITHIN THE PAST 2 WEEKS physical, sexual, or other type of severe trauma Depression
WITHIN THE PAST 4 WEEKS was released from an inpatient psychiatric facility Self-injury
SUDDEN OR UNEXPECTED death of a loved one Problems with alcohol or other drugs
  Adjustment difficulties
  Relationship break-up
  Eating or body image concerns
  Academic distress
  Relationship concerns (family, partner,
  Struggles in making life decisions
  Impact of discrimination/harassment
  Past experiences of trauma

To make an appointment at CAPS, please visit or call our office at 415-422-6352 between 8:30 AM-5:00 PM Monday- Friday. We are located in Gillson Hall, Lower Level. Appointments are 45 minutes long and start 15 minutes after the hour. For intake (first) appointments, we ask that students arrive 30 minutes before their appointment to complete a computer assessment. 

Our After Hours line is available from 5:00 PM to 8:30 AM on weekdays and 24/7 on weekends and holidays by calling (415) 422-6352 and pressing 2 when prompted. This is a free mental health consultation by a counselor

Our All Hours line (855-531-0761) provides free support and consultation to students at USF's additional campus locations and is available 24 hours daily including weekends and most holidays.

Please note: 

CAPS does not provide letters to verify emotional support animals.

CAPS does not provide accommodation letters for anyone seen less than 3 times in the current academic year. If you are seeing an outside mental health practitioner, please request an accommodation letter from them.

Crisis Text Line

Crisis text line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis.

Text BAY to 741741 to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.

Crisis Text Line- Text STEVE to 741741 if you are a young person of color feeling down, stressed, or overwhelmed.