UC Santa Barbara’s Counseling & Psychological Services is rolling out a new partnership with Uwill — a technology-based mental health platform — in light of the department’s long wait times for services fall quarter.
“This is a service which will greatly bolster students’ ability to connect with a community provider for tele-therapy/counseling,” Counseling & Psychological Services (C.A.P.S.) Clinical Director Turi Honegger, Associate Director Brian Olowude and Mental Health Specialist Gladys Koscak said in a statement to the Nexus.
“We know that the Santa Barbara community has been impacted and finding availability with an outside provider has been difficult. Uwill offers availability every day of the week, including evenings and weekends.”
Last quarter, some UCSB students expressed their disappointment with a lack of diversity among C.A.P.S. clinicians. Now, the C.A.P.S. program has seven new staff members, which “bring with them a wonderful range of diversity,” according to the statement.
“CAPS is looking forward to better serving students who identify as South and East Asian/Asian American, Latino/a/x, Hispanic, Black, Jewish, and LGBTQ. Within this group there are Multi-racial and bilingual staff,” the statement continued.
To access Uwill’s teletherapy services, which include “cutting-edge technologies that facilitate best-in-class video and message-based counseling within a secure environment,” according to their website, students must fill out a C.A.P.S. brief assessment.
“We … know that these updates can inadvertently feel invalidating to specific experiences of having to wait for services during fall quarter or being put on a waitlist to be able to see a therapist,” the C.A.P.S. statement continued.
“We do, however, hope that it can demonstrate that C.A.P.S. is actively looking at options that can help our service delivery be more streamlined and more accessible to students moving forward as we all remain flexible and safety-minded this quarter.”
In addition to an influx of teletherapy appointments with Uwill, C.A.P.S. continues to offer single-session therapy and “Let’s Talk” appointments, according to their statement.
“As we move through this Winter quarter, please remember that many of us are having very normal reactions to very abnormal times. Find ways to connect with your support system, practice healthy coping skills and self care in ways that feel true and valid for you personally, and be your biggest advocate in consulting with different departments and resources,” the statement concluded.