New Counseling and Psychological Services director announced

Composite image featuring Loren Brown and the exterior of the Cougar Health Services building.
As director of WSU Pullman’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Loren Brown oversees the programs and services it provides as well as manages staffing and fiscal needs.

Loren Brown, who has served as interim director of Washington State University Pullman’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) since August 2023, has been appointed to the position on a permanent basis. His appointment begins on April 1.

Brown has over a dozen years of experience providing mental health services in higher education. He came to WSU in 2016 to work as a faculty psychology resident and biofeedback coordinator in CAPS, which is part of Cougar Health Services within Student Affairs. His responsibilities have grown since then; he served as associate director and clinical director before taking on the interim director role.

“Dr. Brown’s extensive experience in behavioral health, along with his understanding of the complexities of the college experience, is a tremendous asset for leading CAPS,” said Jenna Hyatt, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs and dean of students. “I look forward to the ways he will enhance the experience of all students seeking mental health services at WSU.”

Brown will oversee the programs and services provided by CAPS, while also managing staffing and fiscal needs. CAPS provides focused therapy sessions for individual students, couples, and groups, and conducts mental health workshops for WSU Pullman students. As a member of the Cougar Health Services leadership team, Brown will be a key player on WSU’s threat assessment and critical incident response teams.

CAPS provides focused therapy sessions for individual students, couples, and groups, and conducts mental health workshops for WSU Pullman students.

“I am excited by the opportunity to be in conversations with Student Affairs leadership and campus partners to think about what is possible and how we can best serve the mental health needs of our students,” Brown said.

On average, about 10% of the enrolled students on the Pullman campus access CAPS services every year. During summer and fall 2023, students made over 3,500 appointments for initial consultations and individual counseling. In addition, 336 group counseling sessions were held covering a range of topics including anxiety, mindfulness, mood regulation, and trauma support.

Brown said CAPS is noticing an increase in students reporting experiences of social anxiety and isolation, noting the importance for his team to closely track mental health trends and be able to adapt quickly.

A big part of the preparation process, he said, is continually gathering and listening to student feedback.

“I want our team to listen to students and try to understand their mental health needs,” Brown said. “This will help us determine if the services we provide are meeting their needs and identify ways that our services can be improved.”

Hyatt said Brown’s extensive experience, combined with his dedication to staff and student well-being, will undoubtedly continue the success of mental health support on the Pullman campus.

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