Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics


Care in the Community

Education and Health Promotion

The Basic

Why do students go to CMHS?

Students come for a wide variety of reasons, including addressing personal concerns, getting assistance with referrals to providers in the community, consulting when they are worried about a friend, etc.

What is counseling like?

Counseling is essentially a focused conversation, centering on you and on your concerns. In addition to support, your counselor may offer you various strategies and skills for working on the issues you bring to counseling.

What should I expect during group therapy?

Support and therapy groups are an opportunity to receive multiple perspectives, encouragement, and feedback in a safe and confidential environment. The experience can deepen your self-awareness, enhance your relationship skills, and allow you to experiment with new ideas and ways of being.

Who is eligible to receive services from CMHS?

All currently enrolled full-time students and currently enrolled part-time students who have paid the comprehensive Health and Wellness Fee are eligible for services through Counseling and Mental Health.

Find Out More about Eligibility

How much does it cost?

Counseling sessions are free for eligible students. We offer psychiatry services for a fee that is generally lower than fees in the private sector.

Find Out More about Fees

Will my parents find out?

No. No information about your contact with CMHS is available to anyone outside of CMHS without your written permission. This includes parents, as well as university personnel, other family members, friends, or outside agencies. There are certain limits to confidentiality dictated by law. We outline those limits here.

What other resources are available to support students?

There are a variety of on-campus services, resources, and supports available to Tufts student, including Telehealth resources, the Self-Help portion of our website, Student Accessibility Services, the Academic Resource Center, the Dean of Student Affairs Office, Office of Equal Opportunity, the Center for Awareness, Resources and Education (CARE), and the University ChaplaincyThere are also many off-campus resources available to students through the JED Foundation.

We’re happy to identify and help connect you with resources both on and off campus. Many students also benefit from seeking support from friends, family, trusted faculty members, Residential Staff, or others.


How do I schedule an appointment?

Call 617-627-3360, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment. You will be asked for your name and ID number, and whether there is a specific counselor you want to see. The staff person will work with you to find a time that best fits your schedule and the counselor’s availability. If you do not specify a counselor, you will be offered the first available appointment.

How quickly can I be seen?

Initial counseling appointments are usually available within a week, although at peak times it can be longer. Call us at 617-627-3360 to ask about our current availability.

Can I request a certain clinician?

Yes. You can look at the staff bios (link) and request a specific clinician. Keep in mind, however, that it may take longer to be seen by a specific clinician than it would to be seen by the first available clinician.

Do you have walk-in appointments?

Given our volume, we are unable to keep appointments open in the case of walk-ins. However, if a student has an urgent concern, they can call the front desk staff who will help connect them with someone who can assist them.

Is counseling available 24/7?

Regular counseling appointments are available during business hours. However, in case of a mental health emergency, there is a Counselor-on-Call any time the counseling center is closed. Call 617-627-3030, and Public Safety will connect you with the Counselor-on-Call. You do not have to give Public Safety your name when you call.

What should I expect at my first appointment?

At your first appointment, you and your counselor will review the concerns you came in to discuss in light of your personal history and life experiences, the goals of your counseling, and your treatment options, which include brief individual counseling at CMHS, referral to a provider in the community, referral to a group, and/or other on or off-campus resources.

How many sessions will I receive?

We do not have a pre-set number of sessions, as each person’s needs are unique. However, we have a short-term treatment model and generally see students about every other week. Students are rarely seen longer than about a semester.

What if I don’t connect with the counselor I meet with?

If you do not feel comfortable with the first counselor you meet with, you can let them know you would like to meet with someone else, or you can let the front desk staff know you would like to meet with a different counselor for your next appointment.

Care in the Community

Why do students get referred off-campus?

Students who would benefit from more frequent meetings over a longer period of time are often referred to providers in the community. On-campus care is necessarily brief in nature and not an appropriate substitute for a long-term therapy relationship.

How do I find an off-campus provider?

Students looking for long-term treatment/weekly psychotherapy are strongly encouraged to utilize the Off-Campus Referral and Support page to contact providers or connect with our Care Manager who provides case management support to students seeking a provider in the community.


Education and Health Promotion

How can I support a friend going through a difficult time?

Everyone experiences distress sometimes. See our Concerned About a Student? webpage to learn more about the signs of distress and to read our guidelines for when you have a concern about someone at Tufts.

What is depression? What is anxiety? What is the difference between stress and anxiety?

Depression is is an invisible condition that gets in the way of everyday activities like working, sleeping, eating, or just enjoying time with friends difficult. Symptoms include feeling hopeless, worthless, and/or irritable, a loss of interest and/or lack of energy, and social withdrawal. Depression can also lead to wishing you were dead, considering suicide, or making a suicide attempt.

Anxiety is fear or dread that does not go away once the source of stress is past. Anxiety can affect your your mood, sleep, appetite, and ability to concentrate

You can find more information about depression and anxiety on the Self-Help portion of our website.

Lear More About Depression

Learn More About Anxiety

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