Welcome to CAPS psychiatric services!  CAPS offers psychiatric evaluations and medication management for students engaged in psychotherapy at CAPS.  Services are provided by psychiatric nurse practitioner, Aleksandra Kinard. For more information, please see the FAQ below.

  • How can I get psychotropic medication at CAPS?
    All students who wish to receive medication from CAPS must first see a psychotherapist, who will facilitate a referral to the APRN for a psychiatric evaluation.  Students must be willing to meet with their therapist periodically throughout the semester in order to be prescribed medication. Please call 860-685-2910 to schedule an appointment with a psychotherapist.
  • What happens during a psychiatric evaluation?

    All students who wish to consider medication will be given a full psychiatric evaluation, including obtaining a history of the present problem, social history, family history, and medical history, among other information.  If this cannot be completed within the initial one-hour appointment, you may be asked to return for a follow-up.  In some cases, the APRN may request your permission to speak with family members to obtain additional information. 

  • What if I just have questions about medication or mental health?
    In addition to psychiatric evaluations and medication management, our psychiatric APRN can also offer consultations for students who have questions about medications, diagnosis, substance use, or psychiatric care in general. Your therapist can help you set up a consultation appointment.
  • What happens if I am prescribed medication at CAPS?

    If our APRN determines that psychiatric medications are appropriate, she will discuss them with you during your evaluation or at a follow-up appointment soon after.  You will be provided detailed information about medication options, how they work, the risks and benefits, possible side effects and how to take the medication so you can make an informed decision.  You will have ample time to ask questions. 

    If you choose to begin medication, you will be seen frequently in the first weeks by the APRN, and then at least once a month for medication management appointments.  You must attend your monthly appointments with the APRN to obtain refills on your prescription; automatic refills are not provided.

  • What if I am already taking psychotropic medication?
    If you are currently prescribed psychotropic medication, please obtain a letter from your current provider stating current medications and doses, or have them complete the exchange of information form: Medication Refill/Continuation form.  You can bring this to your first therapy appointment.
  • What if I need stimulant medication for ADHD?

    If you are currently taking stimulant medication for ADHD and would like it to be continued at CAPS, please complete the ADHD Exchange of Information.  You can bring the listed required documentation directly to your therapist at CAPS or have your provider mail or fax the required documents. Please note that CAPS will only prescribe stimulant medication if a neuropsychological evaluation is on file.

    If you have never been tested for ADHD but believe it may be present, CAPS can provide you with a list of providers in the community who will conduct the appropriate testing.

  • What does a psychiatric nurse practitioner do? How is it different from a psychiatrist?

    Psychiatric nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed advanced-level graduate training. This is why they are also known as psychiatric APRNs, or “advanced practice registered nurses.”  In practice, psych APRNs and psychiatrists provide many of the same services, such as conducting psychiatric evaluations, completing physical exams, diagnosing mental health conditions, ordering lab work or imaging, prescribing medications, or providing therapy.

    Differences between APRNs and psychiatrists include training and approach to care. APRNs and psychiatrists both complete Bachelor’s degrees in a related field, advanced professional degrees (MSN or doctoral degree for APRNs; MDs for psychiatrists), and thousands of hours of clinical training. In addition, MDs complete residencies and may go on to specialized fellowships. In the state of CT, APRNs are fully independent practitioners after completing training and must maintain board certification in their specialty by completing extensive continuing education and clinical practice.

    Just as there are many different types of therapists, including marriage and family therapists (MFTs), license professional counselors (LPCs), social workers (LCSWs) or psychologists (Ph.D. or Psy.D), who all bring different approaches to their work, APRNs and MDs have different frameworks for providing care, and every individual provider is different. APRN training is rooted in the nursing model of care, which is focused on being patient-centered, holistic, strengths-based, and collaborative.