Counseling & Psychological Services CAPS Logo

Mission & Values

Mission Statement

The members of Counseling and Psychological Services strive to enhance the academic environment of the university by promoting the well being of Humboldt State University students, offering a range of services that include counseling, consultation, outreach, research, education, and the training of new professionals. Counseling services are offered with recognition and appreciation of each student’s individual and unique personality.  We strive to create and maintain an environment that is warm and welcoming, values diversity and difference, provides a feeling of safety, and promotes intellectual and emotional growth while fostering personal and social learning and development.  Additionally, we aspire to be a highly visible and appreciated member of the broader university community by serving the campus outside of our offices and being accessible to all facets of university life.  We view our mission as being one of mental health promotion (through education and outreach) as well as the treatment and care of mental health problems (through counseling, consultation, and referral).  We believe we play an important role in helping to create a campus climate that fosters emotional, psychological, intellectual, and interpersonal growth.

Statement of Values

The core values of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are as follows:

  1. We believe that the university counseling center is an important part of the larger university community, and as such, should attend to both systemic and individual needs.  Thus, for example, we help professors to address behavioral and psychological issues that may be impacting the learning environment of their students; we consult with key university personnel in concerns of campus safety/threats of violence; we provide consultation to parents to help them support their students while also respecting their independence; we provide therapy services to students to address their individual needs, etc.
  2. We believe that our center should offer a spectrum of mental health services, paying particular attention to:
    • Students faced with developmental challenges, including challenges that arise in relation to transitional phases of life (e.g., living on one’s own for the first time, graduating college and starting a new career, etc.) and challenges that arise in relation to facing new and/or otherwise stressful situations (e.g., choices concerning sexuality, use of drugs/alcohol, major/career; roommate conflicts, relationship break-ups, etc.).
    • Students faced with serious mental health issues and needs, including Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, serious addiction issues,  serious eating disorders, etc.
    • Students who are in immediate need of emergency services, for such issues as suicidality, homicidality, emergence of psychotic symptoms, sexual assault, etc.
  3. CAPS believes strongly that self-reflection, an openness to change, and a sense of responsibility for oneself are qualities that are key to living a meaningful life and to achieving personal, relational, and intellectual growth throughout the lifespan.  We believe that helping to promote these characteristics within the students with whom we work provides a very important skill set that will serve students well as they mature and as they tackle life’s challenges, including issues related to academic and career success.
  4. We believe that the healthiest members of our society have developed a personal model of wellness that incorporates positive self-care and stress management.   We do our best to advocate such a model within our university community and to follow such a model ourselves, as a staff, in our own lives.
  5. We believe wholeheartedly that we are stronger as individuals and as a society when we embrace and learn from our diversity.  Within our department, we challenge each of our staff members with the responsibility of creating an environment that fosters personal and professional integrity, civility, respect, freedom of expression, individuality and fairness.  We are committed to the promotion and affirmation of diversity in its broadest sense and place a high value on the dignity and worth of all individuals.  We strive to create and maintain a counseling center that is accessible and valuable to all students, including those of differing races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and genders, abilities, religions, political beliefs, etc.
  6. Many students struggle in their effort to remain at HSU.  For some this is due to academic difficulties, but for many, it is due to a difficulty in developing a sense of connection here and/or to a lack of internal or external resources in dealing with the stressors in their lives.  CAPS therapists do our best to help get students connected to peers, university personnel, and others in the community while helping them learn to better manage emotional and psychological needs thereby often enhancing their retention at HSU and their academic success here.
  7. We value the continual development of our professional staff and of our center.  We do our best to stay abreast of recent advances in the fields of psychology and social work and to incorporate these within our clinical work.  We also strive to utilize technological advances to improve our services and the running of our center.