Examples of immediate crisis situations:
- You are having thoughts of physically harming yourself or someone else.
- You are having odd or disturbing experiences, such as hearing voices or seeing things that others do not see or hear.
- You experienced a physical or sexual assault within the last few days.
- You or someone you care about is being physically hurt or abused, or someone is threatening to do so.
- You are having difficulties coping with the death of someone who died recently.
- You believe you are having an adverse reaction to a psychological medication prescribed by CAPS (although if your health or life is in imminent danger, call 911 or visit an urgent care facility or emergency room).
- You are having a crisis related to your drug or alcohol use (although if your health or life is in imminent danger, call 911 or visit an urgent care facility or emergency room).
- In the past few days, you have become unable to provide for your own food, clothing, or shelter.
- A UCSC student you know is in one of the situations listed here, and you aren't sure what to do about it (although if the student's health or life is in imminent danger, call 911).
When CAPS Is Open
During business hours (Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.), if you are a student who is in an immediate crisis situation (see above), phone CAPS at (831) 459-2628 and indicate the reason you need a same-day crisis appointment. If it is not a true crisis, you will be offered our next brief phone appointment, which is typically within a few business days (sometimes the same day). Also, you may walk in to the CAPS office, located at the Student Health Center in the East Wing on the 2nd floor, where you will be asked to complete a brief assessment form, and a determination will be made if a same-day crisis appointment is indicated.
If you are not in an immediate crisis situation but would like to initiate services as soon as possible, please call (831) 459-2628 and inform our office staff that you would like to schedule an initial phone appointment. The phone appointment, usually scheduled within a few business days (sometimes the same day), will help us clarify your needs and direct you to the services and/or referrals that appear most appropriate in addressing your concerns.
If you have an appointment scheduled and need tips for what to do to manage your distress while waiting for the appointment, please see our handout on self-care while you wait.
For information on our services, please see our Counseling Services page.
When CAPS Is Closed
After business hours, during weekends, and on holidays, telephone crisis assessment, safety planning, and referrals for UCSC students are available by calling (831) 459-2628 and selecting option “3” (talk to a counselor) on the automated menu. You will be connected to a crisis counselor who can provide immediate consultation and support by phone regarding a variety of crisis issues and can facilitate contact with CAPS staff the next business day if needed.
Emergency and Crisis Resources
The following resources are also available on evenings, weekends, and holidays when the CAPS office is closed:
- Crisis Text Line
Texts answered by trained, supervised volunteer counselors within a few minutes of your texting; free for AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon customers; text START to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis
- Emergency (police, fire, medical)
(800) 784-2433/(800) 442-4673 (HOPE)
- Monarch Services (sexual assault and domestic violence services)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 799-7233 ( 799-SAFE); (800) 787-3224 (TTY)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-8255 ( 273-TALK)
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
(800) 656-4673 (800-656-HOPE)
- Santa Cruz County Crisis Stabilization Program (crisis stabilization and inpatient care)
- Suicide Prevention Service of the Central Coast
877-663-5433 or 877-ONE-LIFE
- The Trevor Project (crisis resources for LGBTQI youth and young adults)
(866) 488-7386 ( 4-U-Trevor)
- UC Santa Cruz Police Department
- Veterans Crisis Line
(800) 273-8255 and press "1"