Faculty and Staff Assistance

About This HR Service

Confidential Psychological Counseling & Consultation Services

As members of the UCSF Campus and Medical Center community, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) invites all faculty, staff, residents, postdocs, and clinical fellows to use our confidential employee assistance services, which are provided at no cost. We are staffed by licensed psychologists and postdoctoral trainees who provide confidential, brief psychological counseling to individuals and a wide variety of consultation services to the organization.

As the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is continuing to evolve and based on UCSF safety policy recommendations, FSAP will be conducting all of our therapy sessions via telemental therapy through a HIPAA compliant platform or by phone. To make an appointment, please call our main line at (415) 476-8279. Please note, due to the high volume of calls, we may get back to you within 72 hours. If you prefer, you may fill out an appointment request form below (disregard location options on form):

Online Appointment Form for Individuals

Online Appointment Form for Organizational Consultation

If you are experiencing an emergency please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.  Our staff is available for urgent matters during regular business hours.  If you are unable to reach us in a crisis, the San Francisco 24/7 Crisis Line is available at 415/781-0500.  More 24 hour hotline resources are available in the Contact tab.

Services to the Individual and the Organization
FSAP provides a wide range of services to both individual employees and to the University organization and its management. Below you will find an outline of our various individual and organizational services and the kinds of problems and issues we can assist with. If you have any questions or concerns that are not directly addressed here, please feel free to call and speak confidentially to our Officer of the Day, who will advise you as to whether your situation is one we can help with.

Individual Counseling Services
All of us have problems occasionally, personal or work-related. Often we can resolve them on our own, but sometimes they persist and may affect our mental and physical health, well-being, work performance, or self-esteem. FSAP counseling services are entirely voluntary, and all discussions with FSAP counselors are strictly confidential and will not become part of your personnel file. Your counselor will not release any information to other individuals — including the fact that you have come to FSAP — without your express permission. FSAP provides assessment, counseling, and referral services for a broad range of personal and work-related issues, including:

Personal Issues

Anxiety Depression
Anger management Grief and loss
Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs) Traumatic events
Domestic violence Crisis situations
Parenting issues Stress
Relationship concerns Coping with disabilities
Elder or dependent care Personal health

Work-related Issues

Interpersonal conflict (with supervisors, peers, or subordinates)  
Problems with job performance Organizational transitions
Competing professional and personal demands Layoffs
Workplace incivility Coping with hostile work environments

Services available to individual employees include:

Short-term counseling: Many of the problems that people come to FSAP for can actually be addressed — and often resolved — by our brief treatment approach. You and your counselor will work together to identify your problems and the best way to address them — whether here at FSAP or with an outside provider or program.

Referrals: While we do not provide long-term treatment, we can provide you with referrals to local providers who do. We are well acquainted with many qualified therapists and clinical programs in the Bay Area, including ones on your behavioral health insurance plan, and can often refer you to providers with specific expertise to meet your needs.

Couples Counseling: While FSAP cannot provide services to non-employees, including family members, the exception to this is when both members of a couple are employees. If you and your spouse, partner, or significant other are experiencing relationship problems, we can offer you short-term couples counseling aimed at improving communication, providing tools for conflict resolution, and a skillful third party to help facilitate difficult discussions.

Coaching: Many times, employees do not need help with specific psychological, emotional or interpersonal issues, but may greatly benefit from individualized coaching. FSAP provides individual coaching for clients on the same basis as our counseling services, i.e., free, confidential and voluntary, but with a focus on problem-solving and skills development in areas such as assertiveness, communication, boundary-setting, and leadership. 

Biofeedback/Heartmath: FSAP is pleased to provide biofeedback sessions using the HeartMath™ system.  Using HeartMath™ techniques, you will learn to reduce your stress and anxiety, develop self-regulation skills and build mental and emotional awareness. Developing new levels of emotional management can stop the momentum of stress and create inner peace, whatever your circumstances. This program can help you build emotional resilience which is all about having the inner balance and energy to do what is most important in your life. Biofeedback may be integrated into your counseling experience, or made the focus of your FSAP counseling experience as determined by you and your counselor. 

Organizational Consulting Services
In addition to individual counseling, FSAP provides a wide variety of consultation services to all members of the University’s Campus and Medical Center leadership (Chancellor’s and Dean’s offices; department Chairs and division Chiefs; Principal Investigators, Directors, Managers and Supervisors, Human Resource Generalists and Business Partners, etc.). FSAP consulting services are based on the principles of organizational psychology and behavior, and are designed to restore or enhance the functioning of employees in their jobs and the teams they belong to. All FSAP consultation services, like our individual counseling services, are offered free of charge and on a confidential basis, and are designed to address the kinds of problems those in management might encounter, including:

Psychiatric symptoms or behavioral problems Impairment due to substance abuse
Interpersonal conflict among team members Employee or patient safety concerns
Impact of organizational change Critical incidents
Breakdowns in respect, trust, and civility Problematic communication

Services available to management and organizations include:

Management Consultations: Many times as a manager or supervisor, you may find yourself dealing with behavior or performance problems that you’re not sure how to understand or deal with. Such situations may involve possible impairment due to mental health or substance abuse, problematic interpersonal relations, significant changes to your organization, poor team cohesion, and the like. FSAP provides all supervisors and managers with free, confidential consultations about such situations, including effective strategies for dealing with them. 

Case Management: In those situations where one of your employees may suffer from a form of impairment — whether due to substance abuse or a mental health condition — special care must be taken to ensure that its impact on their performance, behavior, and interpersonal relations is well-managed. This is particularly true when the employee works in a safety-sensitive position (e.g., health care providers, vehicle operators, childcare workers), or when their impairment may significantly affect the operations of your team. In such cases, FSAP will work with you and the employee to make sure that they are properly assessed and referred for the appropriate kind of treatment — which typically involves a short leave of absence. When the employee is ready to return to work, FSAP will work with you to set up a Return to Work Agreement that provides a framework of accountability and support designed to maximize their chances for success. A key element of such arrangements is FSAP’s Case Management service, where one of our counselors will work with you, the employee, and their treatment providers, both to ensure compliance with the terms of the Agreement as well as to help the employee deal with any challenges or obstacles that may arise, so that they are able successfully to fulfill their obligations and retain their position.

Facilitated Conversations: Conflicted working relationships can have a very detrimental effect on how your team performs its work and on the overall workplace climate, and can lead to poor morale, incivility, and even complaints of a hostile work environment. Sometimes, the conflict centers around disagreements about how to work together to achieve shared business goals (e.g., roles and responsibilities, priorities, deadlines, methodology, and so forth); in such cases, FSAP recommends employing the mediation services of the UCSF Office of the Ombuds. At other times, the conflict may seem to have a significant psychological or emotional component, involve a serious personality clash, a breakdown of trust, or an inability to resolve past issues; in such cases, a more clinically informed approach may be needed, for which FSAP offers its Facilitated Conversation service. This service, like all FSAP assistance, is confidential and voluntary, where a counselor will work with both parties to clear the air around past disputes as well as to establish new agreements for working together in the future.

Critical Incident Debriefing: In a community as large as UCSF, there are bound to be a number of incidents every year that can have a profound, disturbing, or upsetting impact on our employees. Such critical incidents can include everything from natural disasters to workplace bullying, sexual and other forms of harassment, stalking, intense but nonviolent interpersonal clashes, a possibly suicidal staff member, even the death of a co-worker or a patient. Such incidents are highly stressful and typically affect many people at once, sometime an entire workgroup or department. In all such situations, FSAP offers expert Critical Incident Debriefing services, where counselors will meet with the affected members of your team to help them deal with the event, learn any important lessons there may be to take away from it, and process its effect on them individually and as a group.  

Threat Assessment & Management: Although relatively infrequent, one of the most serious kinds of critical incident that can occur in the UCSF community is workplace violence. Violence in the workplace is defined as any violation of the UCSF Zero Tolerance Standard for Workplace Violence policy, including acts or threats of violence as well as intimidating behavior. FSAP is a standing member of the UCSF Threat Management Team (TMT) and is responsible to provide expert guidance on the psychological and behavioral aspects of such incidents. Any manager or UCSF community leader who believes they may be facing such a problem is welcome to consult with FSAP about their concerns. A counselor will help you gather all of the information relevant to assessing the nature and severity of the problem, and if warranted, will take the case to the full TMT, and then work with you afterward to ameliorate the impact of the incident on your team.

Team-building retreats: Generally speaking, retreats for staff, faculty and leadership groups are designed to deal with normal business operations and organizational development. However, sometimes a workgroup may be dealing with significant challenges, stressors, or critical incidents that significantly impact how they function and how its members relate to one another. In such cases, where some form of team (re-)building is called for, FSAP can help you design and facilitate a retreat (half or all day), which can involve facilitated group discussions, trainings in needed group skills such as better communication or change management, recreational team-building activities, etc.

Psychological Education: One of FSAP’s primary areas of responsibility is to promote wellness and emotional intelligence within the UCSF community. FSAP regularly provides a wide variety of psychoeducational services to the UCSF community, including Grand Rounds lectures, presentations, trainings, seminars, workshops and custom-tailored courses for different organizational groups and departments. If you believe your group would benefit from our psychoeducational services, you can consult with an FSAP counselor who will help identify what kind of approach would work best for you and then design a one-time or ongoing program to meet those needs.

Mindfulness Based Self-Compassion Program: As an extension of FSAP’s psychological education services to the UCSF community, trained FSAP counselors, with experience in mindfulness training, offer an 8-week Mindfulness Based Self-Compassion Course. This course is a free service to the Campus and Medical Center Faculty and Staff with limited availability offered year around. Individuals interested in this course must attend the information session to be enrolled. This program promotes mindfulness through a heart centered and compassionate approach to everyday living. The purpose of the course is to increase self-awareness, emotional regulation, and decrease stress. The group will be open to all UCSF faculty, staff, residents, postdocs, and clinical fellows. 

Who is eligible to receive FSAP services?
FSAP services are offered to UCSF faculty and staff members. 
(residents, fellows, postdoctoral students and temporary employees included)

How much do FSAP services cost?
All FSAP services are provided at no cost, as they are an employee benefit.

How many sessions can I be seen by an FSAP counselor?

We provide brief short term therapy for an average of 2-3 sessions, although there are a number of exceptions. 

What if I already know that I want to be seen by a longer term therapist?

If you have Kaiser, Health Net Blue Gold, Western Health Advantage, you can find a mental health provider up Optum:


If you have UC care Anthem Blue Cross:


Can I be required to come to FSAP or is the program voluntary?
All services at FSAP are provided on a strictly voluntary basis.

Are FSAP services confidential?
Your discussions with an FSAP counselor are confidential and will not become part of your personnel file. 

Confidentiality is a primary cornerstone of most mental health services. It is a legally bounded contract that essentially protects a client’s anonymity. Confidentiality shields a client’s sensitive information from being released or accessed by anyone outside of the agency (FSAP) without the client’s permission. Sensitive information includes the fact that you’ve accessed services and the content of each session. 

There are a few limitations to confidentiality, however, in which this contract of anonymity may need to be breached. These instances essentially concern safety and are especially pertinent when imminent threat is posed to safety of the client, other identified victims, or the University. In such cases, we are legally obligated to discuss the case and certain particulars with the appropriate authorities to ensure the welfare of all parties involved.

Upon being seen at FSAP you will be provided more information about client confidentiality. If you have any questions, please ask your provider.  Our providers are more than happy to discuss any questions you may have about confidentiality and it’s limits at any time during your work together.

Who may request FSAP consultation services and for what reasons?
Any management level faculty or staff member (e.g., supervisor, MSO, department head, administrator) may request FSAP consultation services regarding any organizational concern having a significant psychological or behavioral element (e.g., psychiatric symptoms, substance abuse, stress, transitions, safety, conflict, communication, grief)

Who provides the counseling and consultation?
The FSAP team is comprised of licensed Psychologists and Postdoctoral Fellows.

What is the time-off policy for FSAP appointments? 
While there is no specific policy regarding this, supervisors are encouraged to treat time off for FSAP appointments as paid time. That is, the employee would be “on the clock.” Also, these appointments are treated as doctor appointments. As FSAP services are confidential, we are unable to confirm an employee’s attendance without the written consent of the employee.

Can FSAP providers certify FMLA or disability leave requests?

No.  FSAP is not an eligible provider for such requests.  An outside provider is required to evaluate these requests.  FSAP can provide you with referrals to locate an outside provider.

How do I contact FSAP to make an appointment?
For up-to-date availability, please call 415/476-8279 to schedule.

UC Emergency Loan Program

The UC Emergency Loan Program (Employee Emergency Loan Fund Policy, E-526-48), that FSAP used to manage, ended in 2013. In lieu of offering this program internally, the University has contracted with two external credit unions who will provide a similar program to UC employees. The two credit unions are University Credit Union and USE Credit Union. Both suppliers have UC-negotiated interest rates, are in complete compliance with the Truth in Lending requirements, and will provide online application tools for employees to directly apply for emergency loans.

Any UC employee seeking an emergency loan may contact these two external suppliers:

Name of the Organization: University Credit Union USE Credit Union
Contact Phone Number: (800) UCU-4510 (800-828-4510) (866) 873-4968
Contact Email: [email protected] [email protected]
Loan Application URL: http://www.ucu.org/emergency www.usecu.org/emergencyloan
Laurel Heights Office   Mission Center Building (MCB) Office
3333 California St. Suite 293   1855 Folsom St. Suite 500H
San Francisco, CA 94143   San Francisco, CA 94103
    Appointments offered Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

Schedule an Appointment:

Phone: 415/476-8279
You may call to schedule an appointment Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. If you have not received a response within 48 hours during our normal business hours, please call us.

Online: Online Appointment Form for Individuals

Online Appointment Form for Organizational Consultation

For general questions, you can email us at [email protected]

Emergency Contacts
Emergency: Dial 911 from any phone (on or off campus) to report an imminent threat to life or property.
From a cell phone, dial direct for faster emergency response:

  • UCSF Police: 415/476-1414 or 911
  • City of San Francisco Police: 415/553-8090

San Francisco 24 Hour Hotlines:

  • San Francisco 24/7 Crisis Line: 415/781-0500
  • 24/7 Confidential Support, Text MYLIFE to 741741
  • HIV Nightline: 415/434-2437 or 1-800-273-2437 
  • Drug Information Line: 415/362-3400
  • Relapse Line: 415/834-1144
  • Peer Workforce Supportive Services (PWSS) Support Line: 415/288-7160
  • Suicide Prevention TTY/TDD: 415/227-0245 (Telephone access for the deaf/hearing impaired)
  • Trauma Recovery/Rape Treatment Center, Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and Tuesday until 7 p.m. 415/437-3000 and /or Rape Treatment Center at San Francisco General Hospital -1001 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco, open 24/7