Assessment, Treatment and Referrals
Through our eating concerns services, CAPS works in collaboration with Medical Services and nutrition to provide assessment, triage and referrals to students struggling with issues related to food, weight and body image.
How to Access Services
Due to being the counseling center for the entire student population, CAPS is limited in the level of care in which they can provide for eating concern services. In order to help support our students in getting the care that they need, the Eating Concerns team will work closely with students to find the most appropriate level care.
If you have identified eating concerns during a screening with CAPS, you may be referred to the Medical Clinic for further evaluation. This evaluation will include an appointment with a medical provider and a referral to one of our Eating Concerns Case Managers who can help connect you to the appropriate level of care.
CU offers a multidisciplinary approach to eating concerns treatment that may include therapy, nutrition, and medical services if a student fits within our scope of care. It is often possible that a student may only be seen by nutrition or medical services at CU but referred off campus for therapy due to the increased demand at CAPS.
Often, students are referred off campus when they do not fit within our scope of care and we are unable to treat a student at the level they may need. If a student has been evaluated and is not medically stable we always refer off campus to a higher level of care. Other factors that would indicate a student will be referred off campus is if they have active eating disorder behaviors that are not well controlled and could impact their ability to participate appropriately in a lower level of outpatient treatment provided by CU.
Students can find mental health providers in the community by utilizing Thriving Campus which is linked from the CAPS website by clicking “Community Referrals” at the bottom of the webpage. You can also access the Thriving Campus referral list by clicking the following link:
If a student is still having trouble finding a provider in the community, CAPS can offer case management services to help facilitate a referral for the student.
While the CU student Gold insurance plan provides coverage for medical and mental health services, the Eating Concerns team has a limited scope of care to ensure that students with eating concerns are provided with the most appropriate level of care for their concerns/disorders. Depending on the severity, students that struggle with eating disorder symptoms may not appropriate to be seen within the Eating Concerns team because they need more comprehensive care than what can be provided here.
Typically, students that are recovered and maintaining their EC recovery without engaging in symptoms are appropriate for care at CAPS. Furthermore, students that struggle with thoughts/attitudes/beliefs related to eating concerns and body image but do NOT engage in any behaviors (restricting, purging or compensatory behaviors, binging) may be appropriate for care at CU. We are typically able to see students every 3 weeks to once per month for therapy so if a student needs more frequent therapy support than they will be referred off campus. If a student is uncertain about their needs, we encourage a student to complete a screening appointment and eating concerns screen to help determine the level of care they may need.
We have included a link from the National Eating Disorders Association
of possible warning signs or symptoms that a person may be struggling with eating and/or body image concerns, and/or an eating disorder. This list is not comprehensive or meant to be used as a checklist.
Change and transition often creates stress for many people and the transition to college is no exception for students. Following this major change, students may notice that old behaviors, patterns, thoughts, and urges can emerge related to body image and disordered eating. It is important to anticipate that this may happen or have a general plan in place if this does emerge for students. It is important to consider the following supports: regular therapy, nutritional support, and if needed medical support if behaviors are recurring. There are a number of additional supports that students can consider as well such as psychoeducation workshops that focus on cultivating skills to help manage general stress or anxiety as well as specific ED or body image related workshops (Please see CAPS website for current list of workshops).
Eating Concerns and Body Image Resources
This video can help you learn about some existing virtual and online resources that address concerns individuals may have surrounding their relationship with food and body image including national eating disorder organizations, virtual support groups, helpful hotlines, educational podcasts and more.
Watch: Mindful Eating video