We are here to help. Our team is committed to providing and connecting you to a wide array of services and resources to address your concerns. These may include short-term individual counseling, group counseling, medication, or referrals to other services on or off-campus.  (Drop-down or list at right offers a full list of services.)

Getting started is easy – just drop-in to CAPS at Olin Health Center located on the 3rd floor to receive a same-day screening appointment during our available hours. No appointment is needed.

What to do in an EMERGENCY

Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if you believe your life is in imminent danger and you cannot keep yourself safe, or you or someone else has decided to seriously harm or kill yourself/themselves or someone else.

The nearest Emergency Room to MSU East Lansing campus: Sparrow Hospital, 1215 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing MI 48912. Phone: (517) 364-1000

  • Drop-In/Crisis Screening

    Best way to get started?

    CAPS offers tailored services to honor the unique needs of each student. As an enrolled MSU student registered for one or more credits, you are eligible for our services. In 2018, CAPS implemented a new screening process to enhance the student experience.

    Just drop-in to the CAPS main location and check-in at the reception desk. We are located on the 3rd floor of Olin Health Center (463 E Circle Drive).

    Students who are in a crisis or extreme distress are usually given first priority.


    Business/Crisis Screening Hours

    • Monday – Thursday: 8 am – 6 pm
    • Friday: 8 am - 5 pm

    Same-Day Non-Crisis Screening Hours:

    • Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 4:30 pm
    • Friday: 10 am – 3:30 pm

    Upon arrival, you will be asked to complete a brief paper screening form. Based on your answers and preferences, you will be offered a tailored screening appointment with the most appropriate available clinician.

    Types of Screening Appointments:

    • Screening for urgent/crisis needs
    • Screening for counseling and/or medication at CAPS
      • Students receiving screening for urgent/crisis needs OR for counseling and/or medication at CAPS will be asked to complete additional tailored forms to better understand you, your concerns, and preferences. Then the most appropriate available clinician will meet with you for about 30 minutes (with some flexibility, as needed, for urgent/crisis needs). During this collaborative dialogue, your clinician will gather pertinent information to assist in making the most appropriate clinical recommendation to best address your needs. This may include:
        • referral for medication (students who already have a referral from their home psychiatrist, counselor or primary care provider, call (517) 355-8270.)
        • referral to off-campus and/or university services, or
        • ongoing counseling (e.g., individual, relationship/couple, and/or group) at CAPS or in the community.
    • Consultation (e.g., assistance with helping others; getting help through a one-time conversation if ongoing services are not desired). Students who receive consultation are not asked to complete any additional forms.
    • Assistance with connecting students with other resources, such as the MSU Center for Survivors, Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD), Safe Place (domestic violence shelter and services), and Student Health Services (primary care/general medical services).
      • For students requesting consultation, referral services, and/or assistance in getting connected with other resources, a brief conversation with a clinician may be the most appropriate first step. Often, consultations do not require students to complete any additional forms and are designed to assist students quickly who are not interested in ongoing clinical services.


    The CAPS screening process is designed to provide same-day access for any issue or concern, and to:

    • Enhance the student experience, including prioritizing safety, quality, and continuity of care.
    • Offer tailored services for every unique student through a streamlined and consistent process.
    • Assess the unique needs of each student, and offer the most appropriate type of screening service with tailored screening tools and processes.
    • Match students with the most appropriate clinician at CAPS at the time of the screening appointment based upon client preference, and the clinical expertise of the various staff.
    • Connect students with the most appropriate clinician at CAPS as soon as possible, based on student preferences and clinical needs.
    • Provide a clinical recommendation following screening within one to two business days and, whenever possible, during the actual screening appointment.
    • Enhance continuity of care (e.g., ensuring that, whenever possible, students receive services, referral notifications, and ongoing planning from the same clinician, as frequently as possible.

    CAPS, as part of Michigan State University, is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Accommodations needed to use our services may be requested by calling (517) 355-8270.

In CRISIS When CAPS is open:

Monday - Thursday: 8 am to 6 pm; Friday: 8 am to 5 pm

  • Go to Olin Health Center at 463 E Circle Drive, CAPS is on the 3rd Floor
  • Inform staff at CAPS check-in that you have an urgent/crisis situation
  • Receive an in-person urgent screening assessment
  • No appointment needed

In CRISIS When CAPS is closed:

  • If you or another student/friend is in crisis and need to talk with someone, call CAPS at (517) 355-8270 and press “1” when prompted. You will be connected to a confidential, no-charge counselor contracted to work after hours to assist you with connecting to a variety of services on the MSU East Lansing Campus.
  • If you are unsure how much medication or alcohol someone has taken, and they are unable to communicate with you, call 9-1-1. Michigan Medical Amnesty protects you from legal charges for possession/use of substances in the event that you request emergency services to assist someone in danger of alcohol poisoning, overdose, etc.

Click here for additional EMERGENCY Resources for Students 

  • What You Can Do Now

    What You Can Do Now

    • Talk to friends/family members – Share your feelings and thoughts with someone who you feel comfortable with and who cares for you.
    • Take a bath/shower – This can calm you down and soothe you.
    • Exercise/take a walk– Go outside or to the gym to exercise and release tension.
    • Write – Take a moment to write about how you feel and how you make sense of things.
    • Practice relaxation techniques:
      • Exercise – One of the most powerful relaxation techniques for anxiety.
      • Meditation – Meditation helps to control the racing thoughts that are typical of someone who suffers from moderate-to-high anxiety.
      • Aromatherapy – Lavender is one of the most common aromas to help calm and relax thoughts and moods.
      • Deep breathing – Inhale through your nose for 8 seconds and exhaling through your mouth for 8 seconds.
    • Eat healthfully – It is important to take care of your basic needs. Fueling your body with healthy food is one of them.
    • Practice meditation – There are many different kinds of meditation. One of the ways to practice meditation is to close your eyes and observe the sensations in your body from head to toe. If troublesome thoughts come to your mind, be aware of them and let them go.
    • Get enough sleep – If you are tired, you will not be able to think clearly. Sleeping 7-8 hours per night can rejuvenate you and help you think clearly. If you have a hard time falling asleep, practice relaxation or take a hot bath.
    • Attend to your spiritual needs – During hard times, attending to your spiritual needs such as praying or attending religious services may comfort you.
    • Set several small goals for the day and work on them – Focusing on one thing at a time will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Structure your time, refine your priorities, and be involved in things that are meaningful for you.
    • Take an on-line assessment – It can help you understand the issues/concerns that you are experiencing. An online mental health screening tools can be found by clicking the following link: Mental Health Screening
  • CAPS Connect

    CAPS Connect is based on the Let’s Talk model developed at Cornell University. Let's Talk has been adopted by nearly 100 universities and colleges and is shown to increase student access.

    CAPS Connect is a brief consultation program that is confidential, completely free, and available to all enrolled MSU students. Just drop-in during the scheduled times - no appointment is necessary! CAPS Connect provides a place to talk about concerns. You can have someone listen to you and offer support, or you may prefer to receive expert suggestions about solutions and resources.

    Where is CAPS Connect?
    CAPS Connect is available in multiple locations on campus, open 90 minutes once per week at each location. The list is organized by day of the week. Click on the CAPS Connect counselor to learn more about them. Listings below indicate the student group or college (although each is open to all students), location, day and time, and CAPS Connect counselor. (Click here for the list of times and locations)

  • Counseling Options (Group, Individual, Relationship/Couple)

    Group Counseling

    Counseling Services offers a variety of counseling, support, and educational groups each semester. Participants in groups benefit from the mutual support and learning that occurs from interaction with others who have similar concerns. Unless otherwise noted, all groups will require a pre-group screening. For more information about our groups or to schedule your pre-group interview, please call 517.355.8270 or visit the Group Counseling page. 

    Individual Counseling

    One-on-one counseling services are offered to help students address concerns in a number of areas including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, stress management, family or other relationships, career decision-making, cultural identity, lesbian/bi/gay/transgender issues, interpersonal concerns, sexual assault, and relationship/couples issues. Any student registered for one or more credits is eligible for an initial consultation. As resources permit, additional services and/or referrals may be provided.

    Relationship/Couple's Counseling

    A relationship system is a group of two or more people who are in an ongoing relationship.  Relationship counseling is designed to assist students with their relationship problems, and is an expansion of what was previously referred to as "couples therapy". It can be used to gain more insight into each other and to learn new and more effective ways of communicating. Any type of relationship system can seek counseling services at CAPS, including married, partnered, single, consensual non-monogamous/polyamorous, LGBTQ+, roommates and/or housemates. In order to receive relationship counseling, one member of the relationship system must be currently registered as a Michigan State University student.

    Relationship counseling that is focused on intimate relationships will give you the opportunity to examine and improve your relationship with your spouse or partner(s) in a non-threatening and compassionate environment. We are not only committed to your personal well-being, but we also want to help you make your intimate relationship(s) work.

    Counseling services are generally available by appointment. Call CAPS regarding relationship counseling services at (517) 355-8270.

    What should I do until I speak to a counselor? Find out here!

  • Psychiatry Services

    Psychiatry Services

    Primary care and psychiatry work together to provide medical services for a wide range of mental health concerns including mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, alcohol/substance abuse, and psychosis. These services include evaluation and treatment, including the prescribing of medication, ordering of labs, and referral to other professionals such as counselors, dieticians, other medical specialists, or more intensive programs.

    To access these services students first fill out background paperwork at CAPS, then meet with a CAPS counselor. The counselor will help determine if medical services are indicated and what specialty of medical provider is best for the student to start with. For example, a student presenting with a first episode of depression may be assigned to work with a primary care provider. A student with a more complex or chronic illness may start with a psychiatric provider. Over time, a student’s medical services may transition from psychiatry to primary care as they regain stability or from primary care to psychiatry when specialty care is indicated.

    Referral and past treatment information from off-campus providers are greatly appreciated and can be faxed to Olin Medical Records at (517) 353-5582

    The first three Psychiatry appointments are prepaid by the University for enrolled MSU students. This does not apply to MSU Law or Lifelong Ed students. After the three covered visits, charges are billed to insurance. Any remaining balance is billed to the student. Please check with your insurance company to confirm your mental health coverage. We do not want any student to go without service because of concerns about cost. If this is a concern, an appointment with a social worker can be made to discuss solutions.

    To speak with a Psychiatry Clinic staff member, please call (517) 355-8270.

    24-hour notice is requested for all cancellations. Following the initial consultation, there is a fee if an appointment is missed without advance notification. To cancel, please call (517) 355-8270.

    Psychological Testing 

    MSU CAPS offers a limited number of reduced cost testing and assessment services to eligible students with learning, attention or other concerns that may be impacting academic performance. We also commonly provide resources/referrals to students for local area providers who can provide similar services. Please call (517) 355-8270 or come to CAPS (3rd floor of Olin Health Center) for a drop-in screening.

  • ADHD


    ADHD Prescriptions

    Students who wish to have MSU Student Health & Wellness Services take over the ongoing management of ADD/ADHD medication should visit or call the Olin Medical Records department (Room 146, (517) 353-9153) at least ONE MONTH PRIOR to their need for a new prescription. We have a detailed process and specific requirements for new patients seeking a refill of this controlled medication. Starting at Medical Records is required for understanding the process and avoiding delays.

    Medication management may be handled by a Primary Care Physician from Student Health Services Primary Care Clinic or a CAPS Psychiatrist.

  • Intensive Clinical Services Unit (ICSU)

    Intensive Clinical Services Unit (ICSU)

    Intensive Clinical Services Unit (ICSU) exists due to support students in need of a higher level of care than traditional outpatient therapy or psychiatric services. ICSU serves students who may have difficulty with severe and persistent mental illness(es), multiple needs for additional resources, chronic suicidal, homicidal, or self-harm risk factors; and/or multiple diagnoses that may cause significant impairment in academic and relationship functioning. 

    The ICSU offers individualized short-term mental health treatment services, lasting approximately 8 to 16 weeks, and is designed to assist students in coordinating ongoing treatment at program completion. The ICSU team members work with students and providers to minimize disruption in any current treatment. Find out more here.

  • For Students Outside the Lansing Area

    If you are an enrolled MSU student taking classes online or at a campus location other than East Lansing, here are some resources and services that are available for you:

    1. After-hours Crisis Counseling Services:
    2. Referral Assistance: CAPS offers over the phone and in-person appointments to help connect students to counseling and psychiatric resources within their local community. To schedule a phone or in-person appointment, please call CAPS at (517) 355-8270 and request a “referral coordination” appointment.
    3. Psych Hub online video resource library to learn about many common mental health topics:
    4. There are several things you can try to relieve anxiety and stress for the short-term, see what works for you: What You Can Do Now Information
    5. Take an on-line assessment – It can help you understand the issues/concerns that you are experiencing. An online mental health screening tools can be found by clicking the following link: Mental Health Screening
  • Online Resources & Self-Assessments

    Resources for MSU Students include:

    Free & Anonymous Self-Assessments

    MSU CAPS invites you to find out - privately, in a few minutes - whether or not professional consultation would be helpful to you. These free anonymous online screening assessments are made available to all students at Michigan State University.

    Quick, free, anonymous ONLINE SCREENINGS can be accessed at any time at The screening is free, easy, and a great way to learn about mental health. 

    Also free is the ULifeline Self-Evaluator at 
    The Mental Health Screening Tools from Mental Health America includes several free and anonymous or confidential screenings including those for Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Alcohol or Substance Use Screening and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    Additional screening tools are also available DepressionAnxiety, and Eating Disorders.

    Online Information Resources

    Campus and Community Resources for MSU Students


    Food Security Self-Assessment

    Are You Food Secure? Food insecurity refers to having limited food availability with a reduction in the quality or variety of food intake, which often results in disrupted eating patterns. A lack of food security can be a considerable obstacle to academic success.

    Resources for Survivors of Relationship Violence, Stalking, and Sexual Misconduct

    • Know More: Poster providing resources available through MSU and the community about relationship violence, stalking and sexual misconduct. This poster also contains contact information to support and reporting resources.
    • Groups being offered through the MSU Center for Survivors.

    Substance Use

    CAPS staff are available to identify problems relating to students’ use of alcohol or other drugs. Individualized assessment, counseling, and referrals are available by calling (517) 355-8270. For further information, please refer to the MSU Health Promotion AOD Program website or call (517) 884-6598. For students in recovery, please visit the MSU Collegiate Recovery Community website.


    Click here to find out more how CAPS can assist with navigating the college years at a time when many students begin to sort out their values and figure out who they are.