Effective Date: 
Fri, 08/01/2008
Mon, 05/07/2018
Mon, 06/26/2017

A Third Party Consultation involves someone who walks in or calls in because they are concerned about a student.

Third Party Contacts – Communications of concern about a student who may or may not be currently receiving services at CAPS, from someone who knows the student.  This could be a parent or other relative, friend, Resident Advisor, Academic Advisor, professor, or anyone else who has sufficient knowledge of a student to determine he/she could be in some sort of distress. If a release of information is in place on a student who is currently in treatment, information gleaned from the contact should be documented in a Case Management note.  If not, documentation should be in a third party note. Information received from a treating medical or mental health provider should be documented as a Case Management note.

Who is eligible to receive CAPS consultation?

a.       Any member of the UCSC community can request consultation, including faculty, staff, family, or friends of UCSC students in distress

b.      On occasion, CAPS provides consultation to members of the Santa Cruz community or non-local psychotherapists seeking referrals or information about CAPS services

c.       Consultation can be provided either in person or over the phone

What might consultation address?

a.       Information about CAPS services and accessing services

b.      Referral questions

c.       How to help a distressed student - staff, faculty, friend, family member, roommate

               d.       Assistance in program planning

  • When third party contacts walk in or call in to the CAPS Front office, they are to be directed to the crisis service. If the crisis staff is not available, calls should be sent to a member of the management team.
  • When third party contacts walk in or call  Primary Care services, support staff transfer them or direct them to call CAPs main phone line.  Primary Care Clinicians (MD/NP/PA) may choose to make a third party entry themselves.
  • When a CAPS staff member or trainee is contacted by a campus community member seeking consultation, the first step in the consultation process is to check the Electronic Health Record to determine if the student has been seen as a client at CAPS.  Confirm if any Releases of Information are on file.
  • ​If the student is in current treatment at CAPS, when possible, it is incumbent upon the clinician to seek consultation from the psychologist or psychiatrist who has been the treating therapist before consulting with anyone about the case.
  • If the student had previous treatment with an off campus provider, and it is in the best interest of the client, CAPS staff members should consult with previous off campus providers when clinically appropriate.  A Release of Information must be on file to proceed with consultation.
  • ​All Third Party contacts should be documented in the Third Party Security Division of the student's Electronic Health Record.  There are specific templates available for third party contacts.
  • ​When initial contact is made with a student, clinicians should review any previous Third Party contacts to determine if any concerning patterns exist.  If clinicians are contacted directly by a third party (not through crisis service) the same procedure of documentation applies.  If students are seen in the center subsequent to documented third party contacts, these contacts should be included in the assessment of the student and could be incorporated into the clinical record if the clinician deems this appropriate.  Third party contacts are not part of the mental health record and would not be released in the event a valid request for release of mental health records was received.
  • ​CAPS will document and monitor third party contacts and reach out to the student, if, in the judgment of the clinician, the reported behavior(s) warrant(s) concern.  Outreach could result from one highly concerning call or a series of more minor concerns that are adding up to a problematic pattern of behavior.