/ Counseling and Psychological Services


Students, staff, faculty, friends and family may be interested in some of these additional ways to face challenges and build resilience.

CAPS offers both a breadth and depth of services, including these excellent references for issues that many students face. You can also request a CAPS counselor to present to your class or event.

General Mental Health

CCAPS-Screening Tool: A general mental health screening tool developed specifically for college students that assesses several areas of mental health functioning and psychological distress. After completing the screening you will receive easily understandable feedback about your current mental health status and level of emotional distress.

ULifeline: Your online resource for college mental health. Rich with resources and information specific to college student life and concerns.

National Institute of Mental Health brochures: “NIMH offers expert-reviewed information on mental disorders, a range of related topics and the latest mental health research. Use our A to Z list to find basic information on signs and symptoms, risk factors, treatment and current clinical trials. This information should not be used as a guide for making medication decisions or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medication condition.”

National Alliance on Mental Illness: "NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.”

Resources developed by the NCAA specific to the needs of collegiate athletes: “There are nearly half a million NCAA student-athletes — we are committed to helping them have a fulfilling college experience by keeping them healthy and safe, providing fair and inclusive environments and encouraging them to learn and grow in all aspects.”


CAPS Blog posts

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) celebrates, embraces and affirms the diverse identities students bring to Hope College. We offer a safe and trusting space, inclusive of all beliefs, values and attitudes, which allows for the healing and supportive discovery of emotional, intellectual and social development.

CAPS staff appreciate and respect the race, color, ethnicity, language, national origin, ancestry, religion/spirituality (or lack thereof), veteran status, physical and mental abilities, size and appearance, family status, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information and socioeconomic status of all persons who enrich our campus community.

We recognize that identities are multiple and intersectional, and, too often, have been marginalized. Oppression, discrimination, bias and invalidation are all harmful forces that impair emotional and physical well-being. We invite all students to explore our services and look into how we can best support their needs.

CAPS counselors follow and practice the multicultural guidelines and standards provided by the professional organizations in which they are members, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Read “Dear Hope community (a letter from CAPS)” 

Resources for Students of Color

CAPS is currently in the process of developing a broad list of mental health resources for Hope students of color. The following websites offer several supportive resources. Please check back for updates and/or follow us on social media (@hopecollegecaps) to learn about additional resources.

Resources for Students with Invisible Conditions

Hope Advocates for Invisible Conditions raises awareness and advocates for invisible conditions and disabilities across the Hope College community. Club meetings and events address current issues in the disability and invisible condition community. HAIC provides a supportive community for students with invisible conditions and/or disabilities. HAIC events are open to all students, regardless of whether or not they have an invisible condition/disability.

Disordered Eating

National Eating Disorders Association “provides programs and services to give families the support they need to find answers for these life-threatening illnesses.”

Nutrition counseling At Hope

Jenna VanVeldhuisen, Registered Dietitian

Jenna is available for virtual appointments on Fridays. Please call the Health Center to schedule an appointment or email Jenna at vanveldhuisen@hope.edu.

Jenna provides free and confidential support for students struggling with eating disorders and body image. 


Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a natural part of life. Grief is a typical reaction to death, relationship break-up, failure to get into a coveted graduate school, job loss, a move away from friends and family, or loss of good health due to illness. The more significant the loss, and the more sudden, the more intense the grief. However, even subtle losses can lead to grief. For example, you might experience grief after moving away from home, graduating from college, changing jobs, selling your family home, having your best friends graduate and move away, an athlete who is injured and can’t play their sport.

Get additional resources about grief 


Homesickness is universal. Psychologists call it “separation anxiety” and few people are immune. It is experienced by the kindergartner going off to school, as well as the businessperson starting a new job. Here are a few tips to help you through it now or in the future.

    1. Admit that you have it. Much of what you know and can rely on is back home. Homesickness is a natural response to this sense of loss.
    2. Talk about it with an older sibling or friend who has gone away from home. It takes strength to accept the fact that something is bothering you and to confront it.
    3. Bring familiar items from home to your new location. Photos, plants and even stuffed animals help to give one a sense of continuity and ease the shock of a new environment.
    4. Familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. Walk around. You will feel more in control if you know where buildings, classes and services are.
    5. Invite people along to explore. Making friends is a big step to alleviating homesickness.
    6. Keep in touch with the people back home, but put a limit on telephoning. Write them reports of your activities and new experiences. Let them know you'd like to hear from them, too.
    7. Plan a date to go home and make arrangements. This often helps curtail impulsive returns and keeps you focused on your goals in staying.
    8. Examine your expectations. We'd all like to be popular, well-dressed, well-organized and well-adjusted. Well, we're not. Setting a goal of perfection is the most predictable way of creating trouble for yourself. Laugh at your mistakes. You're learning.
    9. Seek new opportunities. As scary as it is to see all those people, classes, buildings and choices, they will provide opportunities to meet people who like what you like. Take classes that you're interested in and get involved in your favorite activity or try new ones.
    10. Do something. Don't wait for it to go away by itself. Buried problems often emerge later disguised as headaches, fatigue, illness or lack of motivation.

Source: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Counseling Services


If you are LGBT+ at Hope

Hope College should be a safe place for LGBT+ students who want to grow and learn. It is our mission for all students to find a place on campus where they can be shaped in accordance with the mission of Hope College: to educate students for lives of leadership and service in a global society. CAPS works to foster a climate where that is possible and every student can learn about sexuality, gender and relationships in light of their faith.

At an institution where LGBT+ students can be isolated, CAPS offers an environment where students are free to come and openly discuss their lives, their challenges and their sexuality and gender development. Additionally, the Multicultural Student Organization (MSO) Prism is “dedicated to the support and empowerment of the queer community at Hope.”


Faith Resources by the Human Rights Campagin
Gay Christian Network
Room for All
Christian Resources by PFLAG


In some cases, continued therapy sessions outside of Hope College may be best for a student. When that happens, our staff helps refer students to a local therapist or counselor that meets the needs of the student.

Self-Care and Resiliency

Six relaxation techniques to reduce stress: "Practicing even a few minutes per day can provide a reserve of inner calm."

The Road to Resilience from the American Psychological Association defines resilience, offers strategies and gives tips on how to build resilience.

Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence

Hope College has a dedicated office that handles Title IX issues and reports. If you have been discriminated against based on sex, or have been a victim of sexual assault, fill out the Title IX Reporting Form.

Hope College has a prevention educator/victim advocate who provides nonjudgmental, confidential support to student survivors of interpersonal violence. The victim advocate is specially trained to help students navigate options and services on campus and in the community. Hope College’s interpersonal violence prevention education focuses on awareness programs, bystander intervention, risk reduction and primary prevention programs.

Resilience: strengthening West Michigan families by ending domestic and sexual violence.

Substance Abuse

Resources such as Alcoholics Anonymous can provide a supportive community for students suffering from substance abuse.

Ottagan Addictions Recovery (OAR): "OAR is one of the few organizations on the lakeshore that specialize in addiction. We provide personalized treatment, group and one-on-one support, and education for individuals, families and communities in Ottawa and Allegan Counties, and throughout West Michigan."

Suicide Prevention

Hope College Counselor On-Call: 616.395.7945

National Suicide Hotline: 800.273.8255

Ottawa County Crisis Hotline: 888.265.6273

JED Foundation: Mental Health Resource Center dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide

QPR: Ask a question, save a life. Question, Persuade, Refer is a bystander prevention training offered regularly by the CAPS staff. Contact the CAPS office or Human Resources to find out about upcoming training dates.

Teletherapy Spaces on Campus

If a private space is needed on campus to use for a virtual mental health appointment, there are several options available. Most students choose to work with their roommate to identify a day/time for teletherapy appointments in their residence hall room. This can be written into a roommate agreement. Residence Halls also have lounges that you may be able to reserve for private use. Talk with your RD if you have any questions about what this may look like.

Sometimes students choose to find spaces elsewhere on campus for teletherapy appointments. The spaces listed below can be accessed for this purpose.

  • If you have opted for teletherapy with one of our counselors at CAPS, we may be able to offer a private space within our office. Please call 616.395.7945 the morning of the appointment appointment to speak with our office manager, Jody Sheldon.

  • If you are meeting with an off-campus therapist and are unable to find privacy within your dorm room, other spaces on campus can be reserved ahead of time. Log in online or call the Events and Conferences Office (ECO) at 616.395.7222, to reserve as needed. Possible rooms include:
    • Boerigter meeting rooms
    • Durfee 120–123
    • Martha Miller 249
    • Schaap Study Room 1104
    • Schaap Study Room 1106
    • Schaap Study Room 1108
    • Van Zoeren 153
    • Van Zoeren 276
Transition Year

This site on the Transition Year, created by American Psychiatric Foundation and the Jed Foundation, focuses on transitional issues for both students and parents.