Let's Talk - FAQs

What is “Let’s Talk”?

"Let's Talk" is a program that provides easy access to informal, confidential consultations with staff members from University of Minnesota. Let’s Talk Counselors hold walk-in hours at the locations listed (please check the Let's Talk calendar to confirm the schedule before attending). You do not have to make appointments and the service is free.

What can I talk about at “Let’s Talk”?

No topic is off limits. Some reasons to stop by:

  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Sadness
  • Relationships
  • Family problems
  • Academic performance
  • Financial struggles
  • Adjustment to college
  • Coping with social/political climate
  • Identity-based topics
  • Other concerns

What happens during a visit to “Let’s Talk”?

Let’s Talk appointments are first-come, first-served. Usually there is not much of a wait. There will be a sign indicating whether or not the Let’s Talk counselor is currently meeting with a student. The counselor will listen closely to your concerns and provide support, perspective, and suggestions for resources.

How is “Let’s Talk” different from being seen at SCS or Boynton?

Counselors at University of Minnesota Student Counseling Service and Boynton Mental Health provide ongoing counseling, which usually consists of biweekly 45-50 minute appointments. "Let's Talk" is not formal counseling: it is a drop-in service where students can have an informal consultation with a staff member from time to time.

Who should visit “Let’s Talk?”

This service is open to all University of Minnesota undergraduate and graduate students. We recognize that for a variety of reasons some students may be hesitant about engaging in mental health services on campus. Let’s Talk is designed to reflect a broad range of counselors with a variety of professional and lived experiences who are able to provide support and resources.

I think I have a problem that could benefit from counseling, but I don’t know anything about the counseling process. Would going to “Let’s Talk” help me figure out what to do?

Absolutely. The staff member will talk through your issue with you and help you determine the best way to get help.

I am currently seeing a counselor at SCS/Boynton, and I am not happy with how things are going. Can I talk with someone at “Let’s Talk” instead?

The best thing to do in this situation is to talk directly with your counselor. Counselors are eager to get your feedback, positive or negative. Often, an honest conversation about your concern helps smooth out any wrinkles. If, after talking with your counselor, you prefer to transfer to someone else, just ask your counselor directly, either in person or by email.

“Let’s Talk” visits are confidential. Are there any limits to confidentiality?

Conversations with Let's Talk counselors are confidential, with a few very rare exceptions. Counselors may need to share information in an emergency when there is an immediate threat of harm to self or others. Let’s Talk counselors are required by law to report when a minor, elderly person, or someone otherwise incapacitated and unable to act on his/her own behalf is being abused. Let's Talk counselors keep brief written notes of their contacts with students, and in the event that there is an emergency or a student is referred to SCS or Boynton, other staff may see these notes. Finally, these notes can be released in the unlikely event of a court order. Let's Talk visits are never noted on a student's official university record.

We don't want anything to be a barrier to students accessing help. If you have further questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to discuss them with a Let's Talk counselor.

I’m currently in crisis and need to talk to someone right away. Should I go to the next available Let’s Talk session?

No, Let’s Talk is not set up to help students in crisis. Instead, we recommend you call SCS (612-624-3323) or Boynton Mental Health (612-624-1444) for immediate support during business hours (M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm or dial 911 in an emergency. Both locations have walk-in hours for crisis appointments Monday through Friday: SCS 9 am - 3:30 pm and Boynton 9 am - 4:30 pm.

If you need to speak to someone outside of business hours we encourage you to utilize the 24 hour phone counseling with U of M Crisis Line at 612-301-4673 or the U of M Textline: Text UMN to 612222

See http://www.mentalhealth.umn.edu/ for more information about on campus resources.

What else do I need to know?

Although Let's Talk counselors are professionals, Let's Talk is not a substitute for psychotherapy or formal counseling and does not constitute mental health treatment. Let's Talk counselors provide informal consultations to help students with specific problems and to introduce them to what it's like to speak with a counselor. Your Let's Talk counselors can help you determine whether formal counseling would be useful for you and, if appropriate, assist you in scheduling an appointment.

Questions about Let’s Talk? Please contact Nina Hernandez Beithon at beith009@umn.edu

The Let‘s Talk program at UMN is based in part on the Let’s Talk program at Cornell University. With permission, some of the material describing this program has been adapted from the Cornell University Let’s Talk website.

Let’s Talk is not designed to be a crisis service. If you need to speak with someone more urgently please utilize the campus and community resources listed at http://www.mentalhealth.umn.

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