Let’s Chat is a program that provides students with easy access to informal, free, confidential consultations with counselors from MIT Medical’s Student Mental Health & Counseling Services. No appointment is needed; just drop in. Meetings are brief (20 minutes), and you and your counselor will determine if additional follow-up is needed.
During your visit, a counselor will listen closely to your concerns and will provide support. If necessary, he or she can help with scheduling a follow-up in Mental Health and Counseling and/or help you connect with other resources on campus (e.g., Student Support Services, Ombuds Office). Some common concerns that students seek help with include stress, sadness, anxiety, difficulty adjusting to school, family problems, or relationship issues.
The service is open to all MIT undergraduate and graduate students. “Let’s Chat” is a good fit for:
- Students who are not sure about counseling and want to know what it’s like to talk with a counselor
- Students who are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor
- Students who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk about it
- Students who have a concern about a friend and would like advice on what to do.
“Let’s Chat” provides brief consultation and referral to resources. It’s not formal counseling; it doesn’t provide mental health evaluations, and it’s not a crisis-intervention service. In contrast, Student Mental Health & Counseling provides mental health evaluations and ongoing counseling (usually consisting of 45–50 minute appointments, scheduled in advance).
Absolutely! A “Let’s Chat” counselor can help to address your concerns and explore the different options available.
No. “Let’s Chat” is not a crisis service. If you require immediate intervention and/or more comprehensive mental health care, please call 617-253-2916 and ask to speak with the on-call clinician.
Yes, your clinician will write a brief summary of your Let’s Chat visit. This will become part of a record in the Student Mental Health and Counseling Service that is completely separate from your general medical record. Conversations during Let’s Chat sessions are covered by the same confidentiality and privacy protections as any other Student Mental Health and Counseling session. Everything you discuss is privileged information that cannot be shared with any other person without your permission with the exception of certain life-threatening situations.
Yes, there are a few exceptions. Counselors may need to share information in an emergency if there is a significant threat of harm to you or others. Counselors are also required by law to report when a minor, elderly or disabled person is experiencing abuse or neglect. We don’t want anything to be a barrier to students seeking help, so if you have any questions about confidentiality, please discuss them with a “Let’s Chat” counselor.
No. In these situations, it is best to contact your clinician directly to see if he or she can meet with you sooner. If it feels urgent, call Student Mental Health & Counseling and ask to speak with the on-call clinician for more immediate assistance.
MIT’s “Let’s Chat” program is modeled in part on the “Let’s Talk” program at Cornell University. Some material that originally appeared on the Cornell website has been duplicated here with permission.