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Have you ever had one of those nights where everything seems to be crashing down? Perhaps you realize that you have two midterms the next day? And then you remember that the 10-page research paper that you haven’t started yet, is also due. On top of that, maybe you’re having some family trouble or had a fight with your best friend. This is an extreme example — perhaps you just have some roommate trouble that you want to discuss. If you have anything that you may want some confidential consultation about, ProtoCall is available to you for free!

All you have to do is call USF’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 415-422-6352 (Monday and Friday between 5:00 PM to 8:00 AM, and 24 hours on weekends), press option 2 during the automated message and you will be connected with an on-call counselor.

You can call ProtoCall as many times as you want, although you won’t necessarily get the same counselor. It is important to note that this is not a substitution for therapy. The on-call counselor’s job is to consult with you and then asses and try to help with your problem. If they believe that you are in need of counseling, they may refer you to CAPS or recommend a long-term therapist for you. ProtoCall is available to the entire USF community (USF students, their families, faculty, and staff). All consultations are confidential; counselors have signed a confidentiality agreement and only the licensed staff at CAPS can view a report.

If your ProtoCall counselor fears for your safety they will contact the proper authorities. CAPS will not contact you unless there is a risk to you or identifiable others. You are encouraged to contact CAPS if you would like to set up an appointment. (Students needing services can access brief therapy at CAPS every year they are enrolled.)

You know how your parents, professors, and the people of ITS keep telling you that nothing you post or send on the Internet is secure? Well they’re all right. ProtoCall, on the other hand, uses a dedicated server, which allows no one but licensed clinicians with specific access, to see their contact notes.

Barbara Thomas, the senior director of CAPS, says “We are pleased to provide a broader safety net for students who didn’t have access to support before,” including students who take online classes or study at a branch campus. If you have additional questions regarding the service please contact the center at 415-422-6352.

P.S. feel free to like CAPS’ Facebook page at this link!

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