RISD’s Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides a range of mental health services to help students improve emotional, interpersonal, and academic functioning.

CAPS provides individual and group counseling to any currently-enrolled undergraduate or graduate student, free of charge. Referrals to outside providers are available when indicated.

We also offer consultation to faculty, staff, and parents who may have concerns about a student, and sponsor a variety of outreach events related to educating and improving mental health within the College community.

We welcome you and hope that your experience with us is productive and useful. Please let us know if you have any feedback about any of our services or if we can improve your experience in any way.


What You Need to Know

Emotional well-being is essential to personal development and integral to the creative process. Counseling provides a space to address issues that may be interfering with your work. Seeing a counselor helps you respond to the situation before it escalates. Some common issues are:

  • Anxiety, Depression, Academic or Career Concerns, Grief and Loss, Suicidal Thoughts, Self-Harm, Family Issues, Relationship Difficulties, Adjusting to a new country or culture, Identity Issues, Drug and Alcohol Use, Artist’s Block, Eating Concerns, LGBTQ Issues, Homesickness, and Trauma.


Some students seek consultation – one or two visits to address immediate problems. Short-term therapy is available to help you work through issues. If longer term therapy is desired, or if the assistance you need is not available at RISD, the counselor can provide referrals to resources in the area.

If you need medication or are on medication, we can provide referrals to practitioners nearby. Access to an on-campus medicating provider may be available on a very limited basis. Students should contact our office to inquire about eligibility requirements for this resource.

Counseling Services is open from 8.30AM – 4.30PM Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment you can drop in or call 401-454-6637.


Emergency situations

If there is an emergency during non-office hours, please contact Public Safety at 401-454-6666; the officer on duty will then notify the appropriate RISD Staff member. Situations considered emergencies include, but are not limited to: suicidal thoughts, acute emotional distress, thoughts of harming another person, sexual assault, when you need to talk to someone, and it can’t wait until the office is open.


All meetings are strictly confidential. Counseling sessions are not part of your academic record or medical file. The only exceptions are in case of life threatening emergencies, or when you have consented.