What happens if I become hospitalized?

Mental health hospitalizations occur only after careful assessment by your clinician. We are committed to helping you stay engaged in their academic programs, but sometimes mental health concerns warrant a higher level of care than can be provided at CAMHS. Most hospitalizations are voluntary, meaning that the student agreed that he/she would benefit from intensive treatment.

Confidentiality is maintained throughout the hospitalization process, including intake, treatment, and discharge. The reason for hospitalization cannot be disclosed without your consent. Students who...

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Are my mental health records confidential?


Your mental health records are covered by special confidentiality laws including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Your mental health records are not a part of your academic record. Our clinicians have access to your record, but only as necessary. We cannot share information about your mental health to anyone outside of CAMHS, including your family members, parents, friends, academic advisors, deans, or employers without your permission.

There are exceptions to confidentiality-- involving imminent safety concerns. We will...

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What is urgent care?

In-person urgent Care is available every day for mental health and safety concerns between 8am - 10pm. For concerns between 10pm - 8am, please call our nurse advice line (617)-495-5711. 

Follow up care may include scheduling an intake to begin counseling, making an appointment to assess for medication, or transfer to a hospital. Therapy is not provided in the urgent care setting.

If you are unsure if you should come into Urgent Care, call (617) 495-5711 and request to speak with a mental health provider.

Do you provide counseling via phone or Skype?

We do not provide counseling over the phone or via Skype. We encourage you to contact your counselor to set up an appointment if you are having difficulty between scheduled sessions. Urgent care for emergencies is available 24 hours a day by calling (617) 495-5711.

What if I don’t want to keep my appointment?

Please call (617) 495-2042 to cancel your appointment. You will incur a $25 fee if you do not show up or cancel your appointment within 24 hours. Canceling your appointment in a timely manner also allows us to offer an appointment to another student who needs services.

Your clinician will contact you via secure email or phone if you cancel an appointment or do not show up for the appointment. This is one of the ways we can follow up with you to check on your well-being and ask if you are interested in continued care.

Can I request weekly therapy sessions?

The frequency of sessions is determined by your particular situation. Periodic weekly counseling may be scheduled depending on your treatment needs and goals; typically students are seen on a bi-weekly or even monthly basis until treatment goals have been met. Additional services like group counseling will enhance and compliment your care at CAMHS. We also encourage all students to follow up with the “therapy homework” generated in your counseling sessions. Therapy homework may include, keeping a journal, daily practice of relaxation skills, or tracking your self-care routines.

How many therapy sessions will I have?

The number and frequency of sessions depends on your particular situation, in the context of our short-term model of care. Some students feel benefits after one to six sessions, others need more time.

Recognizing that some students may need longer term treatment for chronic mental health concerns, our clinicians will work with you to develop a treatment plan that identifies interventions, goals, and timeframes that address your presenting concern. Recommendations may include individual counseling, group therapy or a workshop, psychopharmacology, or referral to a community-...

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Why am I being referred to a clinician in the community and not at Harvard?

Students are frequently referred to experienced psychologists, social workers, or psychiatrists in the local community. The referral is made in response to your specific needs and schedule.

We will provide you with the names and contact information of three or four clinicians, whom you will contact directly to schedule an appointment.

To find out about health insurance coverage for mental health services, please contact HUSHP Member Services at (617) 495-2008 or mservices@huhs.harvard.edu.

What happens during the initial consultation?

The clinician will ask a few questions:

  • Why are you seeking care now?
  • Have you noticed a change in your mood, feelings of worry and anxiety, self esteem, sleeping, eating, use of alcohol and other substances, thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself in any way, thoughts of wanting to hurt others, or any medical concerns?
  • Can you describe any previous counseling experiences?
  • What support system do you have here at Harvard?
  • Can you describe your current coping and self-care routine?
  • ...
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How do I make an appointment?

Log into the Patient Portal to schedule an initial telephone or in-person consultation with one of our clinicians,  who will help you access the right services.

Consultations are offered every day throughout the week. If you have difficulty finding a time that fits your schedule, please call the office at 617-495-2042. 

How can Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) help me?

Our clinicians can help you manage with a variety of concerns including: stress, anxiety, depression, mood swings, cultural adjustment, difficulties with focus and concentration, eating concerns, traumatic experience, loneliness and isolation, grief, sexuality, relationship problems, managing a chronic health condition, addictive behaviors, academic and career planning concerns. Call us even if you are not sure if we can help – we will connect you with the right support.

Many people seek counseling for personal growth and/or because they need help managing the challenges in...

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