Twice a month, as part of our ongoing series Meet the CAPS Staff, we get to know one of our staff members as they answer five questions. This week we’re featuring Dr. Blair Davis, staff psychologist and our resident substance abuse guru.
Blair Davis, Psy.D.
What is your position at CAPS, and how long have you been working at UCSC?
I am a psychologist with a focus on substance abuse and have been at UCSC since August 2012. My office is at Stevenson College. I see students with lots of different concerns, as well as many students who come to CAPS because of a problem with alcohol or another drug. I provide trainings on mental health and substance abuse to students and staff and am involved with some university-wide programs to improve prevention efforts, services and resources around substance abuse. I also consult with staff and faculty, including RAs, about student issues and have been helping develop the CAPS Facebook page and a future CAPS newsletter.
What is your favorite part of your job?
It’s great when I feel I have made a difference in someone’s life. It’s very rewarding when a student’s situation improves or he or she comes away from our work with new insights or coping skills and more hope for the future. That’s why I do this work. I also really enjoy working with peer educators and RAs when we do workshops and other programs together. I’m always inspired by all the great things students do at UCSC.
Tell our readers about one of your favorite spots on campus or in Santa Cruz.
Being relatively new to Santa Cruz, there are still a lot of spots on campus I have yet to explore. Two of my favorite places are at Stevenson College—the coffee shop, where I often get my morning cup, and the Stevenson Knoll, with its killer ocean views. I also enjoy the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery at Cowell College, since I am an art lover.
What do you do to take care of yourself and relax?
Since I’m always talking to students about the importance of taking care of oneself, I try to practice what I preach! I make sure to spend some time every day doing something fun or relaxing, even if it’s only for a short time. Something that helps me relax is getting outdoors, whether it’s for a walk on the beach or a bike ride around town. I also find reading, the arts and music to help me unwind and feel inspired. Finally, I try to “practice gratitude”—reminding myself of the things in my life that are good and bring me joy.
What is one thing you wish you knew as a college student?
My experience in college was a lot different than UC Santa Cruz, since I attended school in a big city back East. And, it was a while ago, so some things have changed! But one thing that is still true is that there’s a lot of direct and indirect peer pressure to drink at college, and I wish I had realized that I could not (and didn’t have to try to) keep up with some of my friends’ drinking.