How do I get started?
- To make a first appointment:
- Call: When you call Mental Health and Counseling during regular weekday hours, we’ll schedule a phone conversation with one of our clinicians to briefly discuss your concerns. Then we’ll make an appointment for you with a clinician who is appropriate for your needs. You can also call us if you are concerned about someone else; we’ll listen and give you advice about what to do.
- If you have an urgent concern, come in during walk-in hours: If your concern is urgent, you can come by during our daily walk-in hours from 2–4 p.m. every weekday.
- For students only, use our online appointment request form: You’ll be asked to indicate times you are available, and within two business days, you will receive an email with the scheduled time of your initial appointment.
Your first appointment
During your first visit, you and your clinician will discuss the concerns that prompted you to contact Mental Health and Counseling. The clinician will also ask you questions about your family and your childhood. Usually, at the end of your first session, the clinician will have some suggestions about what to do next.
The clinician might suggest counseling or psychotherapy, medication, group counseling, or some combination of these options. You might come back to MIT Medical’s Mental Health and Counseling Service, or the clinician might refer you to services outside of MIT.
After the first appointment
When you come in for a second session, the clinician will usually ask how you felt about your first appointment and about his or her treatment recommendations. You and the clinician will begin to focus on current issues rather than continuing to discuss your general history.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your clinician after the first session—or at any time—you can tell the clinician, or you can tell the front-desk staff that you’d like to see someone different. Our staff will connect you with another clinician who can meet your needs. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right clinician, and nobody will be offended if you ask to see someone else.
“Let’s Chat” provides easy access to informal, free, confidential consultations with counselors from MIT Medical’s Mental Health & Counseling Service. “Let’s Chat” is available Tuesdays from 1–3 p.m. in Room 8-316, 5:15–7 p.m. on selected Tuesdays and 3-5 p.m. on selected Thursdays at the Office for Minority Education (4-107). Meetings are brief (20 minutes), and you and your counselor will determine if additional follow-up is needed. You don’t need an appointment; just drop in or use the sign-up sheet outside 8-316 or 4-107 to reserve a time slot in advance. Read our FAQ for more information.
Services for employees and faculty
MyLife Services (formerly known as the MIT Personal Assistance Program) is an employee benefit for faculty, staff, postdoc associates and postdoc fellows, and family members that provides up to four free and confidential counseling sessions per person, per concern, with a licensed mental health professional. If you or your family member continue to see a mental health professional for an ongoing concern after those four sessions, you may use your health insurance coverage, and copayments may be required.
Mental Health Referral and Resource Coordinator
Our referral and resource coordinator is available for MIT Health Plan members and can provide recommendations regarding in-network mental health providers. Call us at 617-253-2916 to learn more.