The University Record, October 29, 1997

CAPS is 'mental health center for students,' Tirado says

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the Oct. 15 issue of the Record and contained erroneous information. We are reprinting the entire article to put the correct information in the proper context.

By Jane R. Elgass

Millie Tirado has lots of experience in counseling students. As the new associate dean for student affairs and director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Tirado is responsible for the Specialized Services Portfolio, CAPS--which she call s the mental health center for students at the University--the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and Services for Students with Disabilities.

Her U-M ties go back to the early 1980s when she was the Hispanic representative in what is now the Office of Multi Ethnic Student Affairs. In the mid 80s, she was a counselor in Counseling Services, bringing experience in working with Hispanic cultu re to her position. She was in private practice for a time, and returned to CAPS in the mid-1990s. She also is a lecturer in psychology and women's studies.

Tirado's research has focused on family issues, multicultural concerns and the role of women in the Latino community.

As head of CAPS, she oversees a staff that includes 15 psychologists, social workers and counselors; three full-time predoctoral interns; three postdoctoral interns; eight half-time interns; and a support staff of four. CAPS also has a clinical nurse specialist and psychiatrist on staff.

Tirado is most proud of the variety of services CAPS offers to students, and the fact that the unit continually strives to find new and better ways to serve them. "We're available to all registered students, ages 17 to 60," she states, adding that ab out one-half of the students seen last year were undergraduates.

Among the services offered are:


Crisis counseling is available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.


Individual counseling is available by appointment, and students are usually are seen within two or three days.


Group counseling and workshops are available in a variety of areas, including eating disorders, depression, alcohol and substance abuse, self-esteem, test-taking, stress management and procrastination.


Religious counseling is available for students who may want to discuss difficulties they are having from a spiritual perspective.

Tirado says CAPS staff will talk to classes on request, and that they also localize services. Workshops on test-taking and stress management recently were conducted for College of Engineering students.

CAPS also worked with the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program to develop the depression screening day held recently.

CAPS is headquartered in the Michigan Union, but has a satellite office in Pierpont Commons on North Campus, staffed by Tom Morson. Working with faculty in psychology and social work, Morson recently received New Century Fund support to develop an in tervention program for international students who live on North Campus around the issues of isolation and cultural differences.