FAQ: Let’s Chat

What is Let’s Chat?

Let’s Chat is an outreach program that provides students with easy access to informal, free, confidential consultations with clinicians from MIT Medical’s Student Mental Health & Counseling Services. No appointment is needed; just drop in. Meetings are brief (20 minutes), and you and the clinician will determine if additional follow-up is needed. 

Let’s Chat is not a substitute for counseling, and does not constitute mental health treatment. If you are currently in distress or would like to connect with a clinician for mental health services, call Student Mental Health and Counseling Services at 617-253-4481, option 2 and ask to speak with mental health clinician.

What happens at a “Let’s Chat” visit?

During a Let’s Chat meeting, a clinician will listen to your concerns, provide support, explore your specific needs, and tell you about the services available at MIT Student Mental Health & Counseling Services. If needed, the clinician will share information about same-day services at Student Mental Health & Counseling Services. The clinician can also help you connect with other campus resources, such as Student Support Services (S^3), the MIT Office of Graduate Education (OGE), and the Office of Student Wellbeing.

Who should visit “Let’s Chat”?

This consultation service is open to all MIT undergraduate and graduate students at no charge.
It is best suited for:

  • Students who are not sure about the counseling process and want to know what it’s like to talk with a clinician or to learn about Student Mental Health resources
  • Students who want to learn about available mental health resources, such as individual and group counseling or medication management
  • Students who are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a clinician
  • Students who have a specific problem and would like to talk with someone about it
  • Students who want to connect with other resources on campus .

How is a visit to “Let’s Chat” different from a visit to Student Mental Health & Counseling?

“Let’s Chat” is an outreach service that provides only a brief consultation and referral to resources; it’s not formal counseling. In contrast, Student Mental Health & Counseling provides mental health evaluations and ongoing counseling (usually consisting of 45-minute appointments, scheduled in advance). Student Mental Health & Counseling also provides same-day services, designed to help with urgent concerns and mental health crises. Additionally, group therapy services are also available to all MIT students.

Are my Let’s Chat meetings confidential?

Let’s Chat meetings are covered by the same confidentiality and privacy protections as any other Student Mental Health & 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.

Will my visit be documented?

Since this is an outreach service, clinician will collect basic information, with your permission. This will not become a part of your medical record and will only be seen by the Let’s Chat team. The clinician can answer any additional questions you have about how your visit is documented.

What if I am in crisis or need immediate help?

If this is an emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room. If you are on campus, dial 617-253-1212 or dial 100 from a campus phone to reach the MIT police. If you require immediate clinical intervention and/or more comprehensive mental health care, call Student Mental Health & Counseling Services at 617-253-4481, option 2 and ask to speak with the on-call clinician.

I’m currently seeing a counselor at Student Mental Health & Counseling, but I would like to talk with someone sooner than my next appointment. Should I go to “Let’s Chat”?

No. In these situations, it is best to contact your clinician directly to see if they 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.

Where is MIT Student Mental Health and Counseling Services located?

MIT Medical
E23, third floor
medical.mit.edu/ mental-health
M – Th, 8 – 6 p.m.; F, 8 – 5 p.m.
617-253-4481, option 2
Mental health clinicians are available 24-hours a day for urgent matters.

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.