Health & Wellness Resources

What is Let’s Talk?

Let’s Talk is a program that connects SMU students with support from experienced counselors from the Student Health and Counseling Center (SHAC) without an appointment. Let’s Talk offers informal consultation – it is not a substitute for regular therapy, counseling, or psychiatric care. Talking with a counselor can help provide insight, solutions, and information about other resources.

Let’s Talk drop-in visits are:

  • Free
  • Confidential
  • No appointment necessary

Below are answers to some of the most frequently-asked questions about Let's Talk.  

 

What is Let's Talk?
Let’s Talk is a program that provides easy access to informal confidential consultations with counselors from the Student Health and Counseling Center (SHAC). A counselor holds walk-in hours and there is no appointment or fee necessary.  Click here for a listing of the current Let’s Talk locations and schedule.

What happens at a Let's Talk visit?
Appointments are first-come, first-served. Usually there is not much of a wait. The counselor will listen closely to your concerns and provide support, perspective, and suggestions for resources.

How is Let’s Talk different from counseling at the SHAC?
Counselors at SHAC provide ongoing counseling, which usually consists of weekly or bi-weekly 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 counselor from time to time.

Who should visit Let's Talk?
This service is open to all SMU students. Let’s Talk is the best fit for the following people:

  1. students who are not sure about counseling and wonder what it's like to talk with a counselor
  2. students who are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor
  3. students who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through
  4. students who have a concern about a friend and want some thoughts about what to do

I think I have a problem that would benefit from counseling, but I dont know anything about counseling. Would going to Let's Talk help me figure out what to do?
Absolutely. The counselor will talk through your issue with you and help you determine the best way to get help. If you feel comfortable with the counselor, it's sometimes possible to meet with him or her at the SHAC in an ongoing way.

 I am faculty/staff at SMU and have a concern about a SMU student.  Can I come to Let's Talk?
Yes. The counselor will help you with your immediate concerns and provide suggestions on how to help the student of concern.

I'm currently seeing a counselor at teh SHAC, and I would like to talk to someone sooner than my next appointment. Can I go to Let’s Talk?
If your next appointment is not soon enough, it's best to contact your counselor directly to see if he or she can see you sooner.

I'm currently seeing a counselor at teh SHAC, and I'm not happy with how things are going. Can I go to 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 open 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 phone.

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 counselor can help you determine whether formal counseling at SHAC would be useful for you and, if appropriate, assist you in scheduling an appointment.

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. 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 SHAC, other SHAC 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.

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