“Let’s Talk” is a drop-in service that offers informal, private consultation with a Cornell Health counselor.
Let's Talk consultations are ...
- FREE for Cornell students
- Offered first-come, first-served (no appointment necessary)
- Typically about 20-25 minutes in length
- Informal, and not a substitute for counseling
- Not appropriate for urgent concerns or mental health emergencies
Let’s Talk is not a substitute for counseling and does not constitute mental health treatment. Let’s Talk counselors can listen to specific problems, help explore solutions, and introduce you to what it’s like to speak with a member of our staff. Please refer to our FAQs below for more details.
Other options for care from CAPS include individual counseling, group counseling, workshops, and 24/7 phone consultation. In a crisis, please call 911 or one of these recommended hotlines.
> Meet our Let's Talk counselors
Summer 2023 Let's Talk schedule
Additional limited summer Let's Talk hours will be announced soon. Check back for updates.
Let's (Tele)Talk via Zoom: Click on the relevant Let's (Tele)Talk link to access a Zoom meeting with a counselor. There may be a wait in the virtual waiting room if the counselor is seeing another student. Please wait and we will be with you as soon as we can.
- VIA ZOOM: 2:30 – 4:00 pm — Let's (Tele)Talk with Alex Julian, PhD (view Alex's bio here)
WEDNESDAY (May 31 only):
- VIA ZOOM: 2:00 – 3:30 pm — Let's (Tele) Talk with Kimberly VanNorman, LMSW (view Kim's bio here)
- BEGINNING June 9 through July 21: VIA ZOOM:
11:30 am – 1:00 pm — Let's (Tele)Talk with Alaina Zapf, PsyD (view Alaina's bio here)
**these Let's Talk hours will not be available 6/30 or 7/7**
- VIA ZOOM: 2:00 – 3:30 pm — Let's (Tele)Talk with Alex Julian, PhD (view Alex's bio here)
**these Let's Talk hours are occurring on 6/2 only**
What is Let's Talk?
Let's Talk is a program that provides easy access to informal consultations with counselors from Cornell Health. It is not necessary to schedule an appointment, and there is no fee.
Who should visit Let's Talk?
This service is open to all Cornell undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Let's Talk is the best fit for the following people:
• Students who have never been in counseling before, are not sure if it’s right for them and wonder what it's 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 problem and would like to talk it through with someone;
• Students who are interested in learning more about what campus resources are available to them and how to access them.
Who shouldn't visit Let's Talk?
• Students with an immediate or urgent concern;
• Students who already know they want regular counseling;
• Students who don’t want to wait for their next appointment at CAPS (these students should contact CAPS instead to seek an earlier time);
• Students seeking specialized services, such as psychiatry.
What happens at a visit to Let's Talk?
Let's Talk visits are typically 20-25 minutes, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Sometimes there is a wait, and occasionally when it’s very busy, the counselor might not have enough time to see everyone. However, there are Let’s Talk hours every day, Monday through Friday, during the semester, so you can try again the next day. During your session, 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 CAPS?
Students who access counseling through CAPS schedule appointments to meet with a counselor, and sometimes participate in ongoing counseling through scheduled weekly or bi-weekly appointments.
In contrast, Let's Talk is not formal counseling and is not intended to be a substitute for mental health treatment. Rather, it is a convenient drop-in service where students can have an informal consultation with a counselor.
I think I have a problem that would benefit from counseling, but I don't know anything about counseling. Would going to Let's Talk help me figure out what to do?
Absolutely. The Let's Talk 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 is sometimes possible to meet with them at CAPS in an ongoing way.
I scheduled a CAPS appointment for a week from now. Can I stop by Let's Talk in the meantime?
If you believe you need to be seen sooner than the appointment you were given, it's best to call CAPS directly (607-255-5155) and explain your situation.
I called CAPS and spoke with a counselor. They recommended a referral to a therapist in Ithaca. Can I go to Let's Talk instead?
Since regular counseling visits are not available at Let's Talk, following up with the referral is a good idea. Unfortunately, CAPS cannot always provide ongoing counseling to every student who requests it.
I'm currently seeing a counselor at CAPS, and I would like to talk with 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 CAPS (607-255-5155) to see if they can see you sooner.
I'm currently seeing a counselor at CAPS, 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. Oftentimes 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 email.
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 CAPS would be useful for you and, if appropriate, assist you in scheduling an appointment.
If you have questions, please contact Penny Krainin, Interim Assistant Director for Community Based Services, at 607-255-5155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.