CAPS Student Hero: Wilson Lam

You may be familiar with Meet the CAPS Staff, our bi-weekly feature profiling CAPS employees. Well, I think it’s high time you get to know the students who volunteer their time and energy to support CAPS as well. Today, we’re introducing Wilson Lam, one of our fabulous new Student Advisory Board members. Wilson, thanks for all that you do for CAPS!

Wilson Lam

Wilson Lam, Student Advisory Board Member

What’s your favorite part about being a UCSC student?

I love the fact we have one of the most scenic campuses in the U.S. as well as the wide variety of people you meet!

Tell us about something you’re passionate about outside of school (e.g., clubs, hobbies, interests, volunteering, activities, etc.)

I love doing anything active: Crossfit, playing for our men’s rugby team or hanging out with friends!

If you could share one thing that you’d like your peers to know about CAPS, what would it be?

It’s free! Students should take advantage of the resources here on campus and realize how beneficial it is to simply talk about anything that is troubling you with the caring professionals at CAPS. It really helps!

Wilson Pineda Lam is an Oakes College Senior majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Biology.

The “Not Serious Enough” Myth

Despite ongoing efforts to fight stigma and battle myths about counseling, many UCSC students still have misconceptions about CAPS and what we do. CAPS psychologist Blair Davis takes on these myths and lays down the truth, so you can separate the fact from the fiction.

Myth: Counseling/therapy is only for people with serious mental health diagnoses.

Fact: Counseling is for anyone who needs to talk to someone about issues in their lives. Everyone needs help, support and advice from time to time. We at CAPS see everything from “day-to-day” issues like roommate problems to serious mental health conditions and everything in between. Therapy can help with lots of problems.

I think of it a little bit like going to the doctor. Sometimes we’re there for something serious, but far more often we’re getting treatment for the routine problems that come up from time-to-time: a sprained ankle, a rash, strep throat, back pain. We might even just be there for a checkup or a vaccine. Assuming that counseling is only for people with serious mental illness is about as silly as assuming that going to the doctor is only for people who are terminally ill.

Coping with Crisis in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan

From the other side of the world, UCSC students face loss, stress, and worry for loved ones.

It has been nearly two weeks since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, leaving a wake of destruction in its path. Relief efforts are beginning to make an impact, but in reality, recovering from this tragedy will take a long time. For those whose loved ones were lost or are missing, grief, shock, and fear are still fresh.

For me, this global tragedy was also personal. My family is from Leyte, and several of my relatives, including aunts, cousins, and my elderly grandmother still live in Carigara, a city near the hard-hit capital of Tacloban.  It was a tense and anxious week’s wait after the storm before we were able to get any news that all of my relatives, very fortunately, are ok. Many Filipino-Americans have not been as lucky, and others may still be waiting for news. For those of us here in Santa Cruz, it’s easy to feel helpless.

Sunrise over Carigara Bay. Photo courtesy of Custodio Borgueta. (Thanks Dad!)

Sunrise over Carigara Bay. Photo courtesy of Custodio Borgueta. (Thanks Dad!)

Crises like Haiyan bring up a range of reactions for people who are impacted, and it is important to know that if you are experiencing a stress reaction, you’re not alone. Continue reading

Meet Maya Borgueta, Staff Psychologist

Twice a month, we have been bringing you our ongoing feature, Meet the CAPS Staff, where each staff takes some time to share a bit about themselves. This week, it’s my turn!

Maya Borgueta, Psy.D.

Maya Borgueta, Psy.D.

What is your position at CAPS, and how long have you been working at UCSC?

I am a staff psychologist with a focus on multicultural issues, and I’m located at Porter College. I do individual counseling with students from all different majors, colleges, and backgrounds, and I also really enjoy doing workshops and trainings for students and staff. This year, I’m facilitating a group for Queer and Questioning Women in collaboration with the Cantu Queer Center, and I serve as a staff liaison to the Ethnic Resource Centers, where I provide outreach and consultation. I also have been doing a lot of work on our blog and Facebook page! Continue reading

The Five Session Myth

Here’s a myth that I hear frequently, but I’m not sure where it comes from. Dr. Blair Davis gives us the straight facts!

Myth: Students get 5 sessions of counseling at CAPS per school year.

Fact:  There is not a “set number” of one-on-one sessions. CAPS provides brief therapy, which typically means anywhere from one or two meetings to a handful of meetings in an academic year. Some students may also be referred to a group, a medical doctor, academic services, an off-campus therapist, or another resource. Your CAPS counselor and you will collaborate to decide what makes the most sense based on what is the best way to address your concerns, and other factors.

Let’s Dance!

Have you heard about Let’s Talk, CAPS’ new drop in program at the Bay Tree Building and Baskin Engineering? These students and staff got together last Thursday for a Halloween flash mob to get the word out! (If you look closely, you can spot me in the striped dress!)

Meet Quade French, Doctoral Psychology Intern

Twice a month, we’re profiling one of our CAPS staff members so that students can get to know us a little bit better. This week, we’re featuring Quade French, one of the three doctoral interns who is currently working at CAPS. Our interns are advanced, experienced trainees who serve as an integral part of the CAPS team, as they bring new expertise and energy to our work with students. Take a few moments to get to know one of the newest members of our staff!

Quade French, Doctoral Psychology Intern

Quade French, M.A.

What is your position at CAPS, and how long have you been working at UCSC?

I am in my first year at CAPS as a Doctoral Psychology Intern.  While I’m new to UCSC, I’ve spent the last 4 years training and completing my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and at Hampshire College.  During this year I will be working with UCSC students in both individual and group therapy, in crisis services, and through various outreach events on campus. Continue reading

Myth Busters: CAPS Edition

Sometimes, the counselors at CAPS feel a bit misunderstood.  We do our best to educate the campus about our services, but a few sticky, persistent myths keep coming up. CAPS psychologist Dr. Blair Davis wants to do something about that, so starting today, she is fearlessly fighting misinformation, one piece at a time!

Myth: CAPS only sees students in crisis.

Fact: CAPS sees students for lots of reasons – no crisis required. Give us a call at (831) 459-2628, or come in to the central office (Health Center complex, East Wing, 2nd floor), and we will help set up an appointment for you. The first appointment is usually a short phone “screening” so we can start helping you figure out the best course of action. Following the phone appointment, you may be scheduled for an in-person “intake” appointment with one of our counselors or referred to other on-campus or off-campus resources. It all depends on what is the best way to address your concerns.

If you are in crisis, come in to CAPS during business hours, call us (831-459-2628) any time (we offer 24-hour crisis counseling by phone) or call 911 or a mental health/suicide hotline, such as the local Suicide Prevention Services number (831-458-5300) or the Santa Cruz County Mental Health line (831-952-2335).

Dr. Blair Davis is a psychologist at CAPS, who focuses on Alcohol and Other Drugs. She is located at Stevenson College.