About Us

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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 matriculated 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:

• Academic or career concerns
• Anxiety
• Family Issues
• Relationship Difficulties
• Drug and Alcohol use
• Eating Concerns
• Sexuality
• Homesickness
• Grief and Loss
• Suicidal Thoughts


Counseling is available at no charge to students. 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.

New students
If you have received psychiatric treatment in the past or are currently on medication for a psychiatric issue, please inform us of your history. You may not need counseling services right away, or at any time during your years at RISD – but if you do, we are here as part of a supportive network to assist you in your personal development and college career.

Contact Us at 401-454-6637.