University of Vermont


Let's Talk

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What happens at a Let’s Talk visit?
Let’s Talk consultations are available on a first come, first served basis. You won’t need an appointment, there is no paperwork to complete and there is no fee for the visit. The Let’s Talk counselor will provide you with a brief, written informed consent document to review, and then you are free to discuss any concerns with the counselor. The counselor will be focused on listening to your concerns and is likely to ask a few questions to better understand your needs. The consultations are typically quite brief and, depending on your needs, the counselor may provide support, feedback or offer connections to campus or community resources.

+ Why would I come to Let’s Talk?
Students may choose to stop by Let’s Talk for a variety of reasons, and no topic is off limits. Let’s Talk consultations are available to all current undergraduate, graduate and medical students, and tend to be a good fit for:
  • Students who are not sure about counseling and wonder what it would be 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 concern and would like someone with whom they could talk about it
  • Students who are concerned about a friend/other student and would like some feedback about how to proceed
+ How do I make an appointment for a Let’s Talk visit?
Just walk in! Let’s Talk consultations do not require an appointment; you can drop in during any scheduled Let’s Talk hours. If the Let’s Talk counselor is available, you can meet with the counselor right away. If their door is closed, then they are meeting with someone else. If this is the case, then you can sign in on the sign-in sheet (feel free to use your first name, full name or initials) and also knock gently on the door so that the Let’s Talk counselor knows that someone is waiting. While Let’s Talk can get busy at times, there is usually only a brief wait to see the counselor.
+ I think I have a problem that would benefit from counseling, but I don’t know anything about counseling. Could going to Let’s Talk help me figure out what to do?
Yes! The Let’s Talk counselor can help you determine options, and you and the Let’s Talk counselor can collaborate on next steps. If you decide that you would like to proceed with counseling, the Let’s Talk counselor can set up an initial appointment with a counselor in our Jacobs House or Redstone offices or provide you with community referrals.
+ How is Let’s Talk different from CAPS counseling?
Let’s Talk does not offer ongoing counseling; it is a drop-in service designed to provide brief consultation. Most students come to Let’s Talk just once or twice. In contrast, CAPS offers short-term, ongoing mental health treatment, which usually consists of weekly or biweekly 45-minute appointments with a counselor. If you know that you are interested in ongoing counseling services, contact CAPS at 802-656-3340 to schedule an initial appointment at our Jacobs House or Redstone office. If you would like a referral to a counselor in the community, you can request an appointment with one of our triage counselors to help you get connected.
+ What about confidentiality?
Aside from a very few exceptions, conversations with Let’s Talk counselors are confidential. No information regarding your visit is shared outside the Center for Health and Wellbeing. This also means that no information about your visit is shared with any staff in the offices where Let’s Talk sites are housed without your permission. Let’s Talk counselors at ALANA and the College of Medicine do not disclose who has come to Let’s Talk or the reason for their visit to any staff working in these areas (unless you specifically provide permission to do so). Let’s Talk counselors keep brief written notes of Let’s Talk visits, and these notes are accessible only by Center for Health and Wellbeing clinical staff. We also use our electronic health record to track general utilization and trends in our site locations. There is NO interface between our records system and any university, College of Medicine or hospital records systems.

Exceptions to confidentiality, which apply to all CAPS contacts, include a few specific circumstances in which we may be required to share information about you. These include:

  • If we believe that you may pose a physical threat to yourself or to another person, we are required to take protective actions for the safety of you and/or the other person.
  • If it comes to our attention that a minor (person under the age of 18) or vulnerable adult is being abused or neglected, we are required to report these concerns for investigation. Please note that we are not required to do any similar reporting of your own history of abuse unless you are currently a minor.
  • We may be required to disclose information about you in certain legal situations where we are ordered to do so by a court or judge under appropriate state and federal laws.

In the event that any of these situations were to arise during a Let’s Talk visit, the Let’s Talk counselor would make every effort to fully discuss necessary next steps before taking any actions. Outside these rare exceptions, your CHWB records cannot be shared with anyone, including university and/or hospital staff or faculty, without your written permission.
+ Can a Let’s Talk counselor help me get connected to ongoing counseling?
Yes, Let’s Talk counselors have access to the CAPS electronic health record and can easily schedule you for an intake appointment with one of our counselors. You can also schedule initial appointments by calling CAPS at 802/656-3340. If you would like some assistance in identifying a counselor who might be a good fit for you, you may also request a triage appointment by phone or in-person, and one of our triage counselors would be glad to help get you connected. Both triage and Let’s Talk counselors are also happy to help with referrals to community-based counselors.
+ Are the Let's Talk counselors the only CAPS counselors who see ALANA students, medical students, nursing students and allied health students for ongoing counseling?
No! While the Let's Talk counselors do provide ongoing counseling treatment through CAPS, we have a full staff of talented providers. If you’re concerned about finding a counselor to fit your specific needs, don’t hesitate to drop by Let’s Talk to consult about that, or call CAPS at 802/656-3340 to schedule a brief triage appointment by phone or in person to help get you connected to a counselor or psychiatrist on our staff or in the community.
+ I already have an appointment scheduled for an initial counseling appointment, but it feels really far away. Can I utilize Let’s Talk for counseling in the meantime?
Initial counseling appointments are not available through Let’s Talk. Let’s Talk is a brief consultation and not a substitute for counseling. If you believe that you need to be seen sooner than your scheduled appointment, please contact CAPS at 802-656-3340 to discuss your options, including the possibility of an urgent appointment. As always, if you feel that your situation is an emergency, please call 911 or go to your closest emergency room.
+ I’m already working with a CAPS counselor, but my next appointment is a few weeks away and I’d really like to talk to someone before then. Could I go to Let’s Talk?
If your next scheduled appointment does not feel soon enough, please contact your current counselor to make arrangements to see your counselor sooner. At busy times of year, a sooner appointment with your counselor is not always possible, but your counselor can provide other options.
+ I’m already working with a counselor in Burlington, but my next appointment is a few weeks away and I’d really like to talk to someone before then. Could I go to Let’s Talk?
Let’s Talk is not a replacement for ongoing counseling. If you need to see your community-based counselor prior to your next scheduled appointment, please contact your counselor directly to schedule a sooner appointment or make alternate arrangements.
+ I’m currently working with a CAPS counselor, and it’s not going well. Could I see the Let’s Talk counselor instead?
Everyone on our staff is interested in feedback (and not just positive feedback!), and would definitely want to know that your needs aren’t being met. Our recommendation would be to share your concerns directly with your counselor so that you can discuss what kinds of adjustments might better support you in the counseling process. Often that discussion can lead to very positive change. If you decide that transferring to another counselor would better meet your needs, your current counselor can help you with that transition.
+ I’ve been depressed for a while and would like to get started on some medication. Could I do that at Let’s Talk?
Let’s Talk is staffed by counselors, who do not prescribe medication. CAPS does have psychiatrists on staff at both our Redstone and Jacobs House locations. If you’d like to get information on scheduling an initial psychiatry appointment, please contact our office at 802-656-3340 to schedule a brief psychiatry phone screening appointment. If you’re already seeing a CAPS or community psychiatrist, please contact them directly with any questions about your medication.
+ I don’t want to have to tell my story twice. If the Let’s Talk counselor schedules me to see a CAPS counselor, will I have to start all over?
Let’s Talk counselors keep brief written notes of their contacts with students, and these notes are available to other CHWB providers via our electronic health record. So while you can expect your CAPS counselor to ask questions at your initial appointment, if you have disclosed your reason for seeking services to the Let’s Talk counselor, the CAPS counselor will be aware of your reason for seeking services. Our electronic health record has NO interface with university, medical school or hospital records systems.
+ I’ve already met with a CAPS counselor, who gave me a referral to a therapist in Burlington. Seeing someone on campus would be much easier; could I see the Let’s Talk counselor instead?
Since ongoing counseling is not available through Let’s Talk, we’d recommend that you follow up with your referral. CAPS offers short-term counseling for a variety of concerns; we also often make referrals to community providers for longer term care or specialized needs. Though we can understand the desire to see someone on campus, the realities of high demand for CAPS services (as at most college counseling centers) mean that we need to limit our services. If you need help with identifying a community referral who might be more convenient for you, contact our Jacobs House office at 802-656-3340 to request an appointment with one of our triage counselors for further assistance with the referral. We work with lots of great counselors who are close to campus.
+ I’m visiting this site because I’m in crisis right now and need to talk with someone right away. Could I just go to the next Let’s Talk and see someone there?
While Let’s Talk is not designed for crisis intervention, there are several other options for you to consider.

  • If you are in a life-threatening situation right now, please call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Department of the nearest hospital (in the Burlington area this is University of Vermont Medical Center).
  • If your need is URGENT (not life-threatening) and requires a same day appointment, please call CAPS at 802/656-3340 to schedule an URGENT appointment. URGENT appointments focus on providing immediate support, discussing available resources, and planning next steps.
  • If it is after normal business hours, you can reach the on-call counselor by calling CAPS at 802-656-3340 and pressing voice mail option #2.

Let's Talk is a program that provides easy access to informal confidential consultations with counselors from Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS). Counselors hold walk-in hours at sites around campus. Speaking with a Let’s Talk counselor can help provide insight, solutions, and information about other resources.

Last modified July 21 2016 11:07 AM