Counseling and Psychological Services

IU Southeast CAPS remains available to support students.

CAPS is currently offering services by phone/video only. In-person visits have been suspended due to the ongoing pandemic. Check out these tips for getting the most out of your virtual session.

We are only authorized to provide virtual counseling to students in the states of Indiana or Kentucky at the time of the session. However, we can provide consultation to assist students with identifying resources in their area.

Tips for virtual visits

We now offer “virtual visits” so you can meet with a CAPS provider from the comfort of your residence. We want to make it easy for you to get help.

  • Identify what you want to get out of the session or the most important topic to discuss – this helps you get the most out of your visit!
  • Choose a quiet place where you can be alone and without distractions (e.g., pets), and close the door.
  • Use earbuds or keep the audio level low – this helps protect your privacy!
  • Sit upright instead of lying down – this helps you to be more engaged!
  • Use your laptop instead of phone/tablet and place it on a table (not your lap), so that you are looking at the counselor at eye level.
  • Place a light source (e.g., window, lamp) behind your camera; this helps the counselor see your face.
  • If you do not have access to an appropriate device or reliable internet connection, please contact the office for the option of using one at a secure on-campus location.

We will continue to provide updates as they become available regarding returning to normal operations.

  • To protect your confidentiality, we use HIPPA compliant video software but using phone/video brings additional risks to confidentiality (e.g., being overheard by others who are around you, hacking).
  • To reduce risks to confidentiality, use a secure internet connection instead of public/free WiFi and use your personal laptop/phone instead of a shared device (e.g., someone else’s laptop).
  • You cannot record the virtual visit.
Social distancing and isolation can be hard on our mental health. Dr. Michael Day, director of counseling at IU Southeast, gives his top five tips to manage your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Description of the video:

Hi my name is Dr. Michael Day the director of counseling here at IU Southeast. I have five tips for you today to maintain your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Taking care of our physical health is something we all know we need to do, especially nowadays, but keep taking care of our mental health is also very important and there's some strategies that can help us. In the same way, as we go through social distancing changes in our routine some of the lack of control that comes along with that that can all contribute to difficulties in our mental health. Sadness, anxiety sleep difficulties, anger, fear, frustration, and even boredom. They're all very normal reactions to these things that we're going through, but they're also things that can be managed with a few tips. So here are my five tips for helping you during this time.

First, try to separate what you can control from what you can't control. As human beings, control is important to us and this is a time where we don't feel that. So what can you control? You can wash your hands. You can in social distance. You can help those that are in your immediate area. And those are very very important things to do. It helps to decrease the spread of the virus and even though it's difficult you're making a difference by doing that. You can also get good accurate information from the CDC, from other trusted websites. You can also do something like start a new project, or fix something, or learn something new with your time, or start or revisit a hobby. The things you can't control is what's going on on the national level the world level and those type of things. We need to let those who are dealing with that deal with that. You can focus on how much of that information you're getting. So maybe refrain from focusing on it too much, from catastrophizing, from spreading gossip, and things like that. Sometimes that feels helpful but it usually contributes to our anxiety.

Tip number two, do what helps you feel safe. Different people have different ways of feeling safe. For me, I like to make lists and get things done. It makes some of my friends kind of frustrated because I'm always writing things down, but it seems to help me manage my anxiety. Spend time with your pets, watch a funny movie, cook something special, talk with your friends, practice faith, if that's important to you, draw something, focus on the positive, and all those that are the helpers, as Mr. Rogers said take a walk out in nature. Those are things that you can do to help you or anything that helps you to feel safe.

Tip number three is try to stay in the present. What I mean by that is, oftentimes we can worry about the future trying to predict what's going to happen. At the present time none of us can but that can lead to anxiety and make us worry even more. Us regretting the past or thinking about what I should have could have would have done can also times oftentimes contribute to depression and make us even sadder. So if you find yourself stuck in the past, or in the future, try to bring yourself back to the present by focusing on what you can see, what you can hear, what you can smell, what you can taste, and what you can do now.

For tip number four I would say stay connected. We are all social creatures and we need one another so even without physical presence we can deeply impact one another and deeply be impacted by sharing our thoughts and our feelings about what's going on. We can do that through social media, through phone calls, through all the various platforms that we have through our technology. Be creative. Maybe have some social distancing parties or have some conversations or play some distance games that can kind of spend some of that time with friends and family.

And the last thing I would suggest is, maintain a regular schedule for yourself. Humans need schedules and routines our work, our school, oftentimes provide that for us and when we don't have that we kind of get out of sorts. So you might want to try to think about how can you impose some routine on yourself whether that's by making a daily schedule. Thinking of things you can do so the time doesn't get away from you. Make sure you pay attention to your sleep and when you get up when you go to sleep, meals and tasks that you can do for the day. Maybe even set some goals for yourself for each day. It can also be time to catch up on a neglected closet that you need to clean out, or a project, or something like that.

Finally, though not an exact tip, I'd say pay attention to your check engine light. Just like our cars have that little annoying light that goes on and sometimes we ignore it until it's too late. If you find yourself getting particularly extra angry extra grumpy, extra grouchy, or particularly extra depressed, or isolating yourself even more. Make sure that you reach out and let someone know. You can call us here at the Counseling Center. You can also use a lot of resources that are available to you online. So I'd encourage you to think about these things and I hope some of them are helpful. You can check out IU Southeast. Our main webpage has some ideas as well as our Counseling Center has some ideas. As well as active minds, and a variety of other online resources. Remember that your faculty, your staff, your friends, your colleagues, we all care about you and we're all in this together. So somehow, find some ways to practice some of these tips and to reach out and find creative new ways to take care of your mental health.

Thanks and we hope to see you soon.