Off-Campus Referral and Support

Given that CMHS offers short-term counseling, students looking for long-term treatment and/or weekly psychotherapy are strongly encouraged to utilize the referral information, tips, and resources contained on this page to contact providers. If additional guidance would be helpful, you can connect with James Kane, Care Manager/Staff Clinician, who provides case management support to students seeking a provider in the community. He can be reached directly via secure message in the Patient Portal or by calling CMHS at 617-627-3360 to schedule a meeting.


CMHS has partnered with a comprehensive referral platform called ThrivingCampus, a user-friendly site that gives you the ability to search for providers in the area based on your insurance and mental health needs.
On ThrivingCampus, the following 5 insurance names all apply if you have the student health insurance: Optum, Tufts Student Insurance [StudentResources], United Behavioral Health, UnitedHealthcare, and UnitedHealthcare StudentResources.
Other Useful Referral Platforms

Script for Calling Providers

When you leave a voice message or speak to a provider of interest, state your name and that you are a Tufts student. Tell them that you are looking to connect to a long-term therapist (or psychiatrist) and are wondering if they are accepting new clients. Inform the provider what kind of insurance you have, leave your call back number twice and spell out your email address.
Students typically speak with a few providers (no more than 3) for a free phone consultation to meet them and determine how they might work together in therapy. Once they feel comfortable with a provider after speaking with them, students can schedule an actual appointment.
Understanding the Cost of Therapy and Your Insurance Benefits
  • Students with the student health insurance (UnitedHealthcare StudentResources) have $10 co-payments per visit for any in-network Optum/UnitedHealthcare provider.
  • If you have another insurance, you will need to call the number listed on the back of your insurance card in order to confirm the cost. Once you dial the number, you will speak with a representative from your insurance company. They will ask you to verify some information to ensure that you are the individual covered by the insurance plan. When they ask why you are calling, you can say “to find out what my benefits will cover for outpatient counseling.” You will want to ask how much you will need to pay per session; this is called a co-pay. Some insurance plans have an amount that you have to pay out of your pocket first; this is called a deductible.
  • Always confirm directly with your provider that they participate in your specific insurance plan.
NEW! – Counseling Option for International Students While Home

All international Tufts students now have free access to direct support 24/7 as well as short-term counseling provided by Workplace Options. This service is confidential, available in any language and can be accessed anytime while students are home over the summer or during breaks in their respective country. Students can call them anytime at +44 20 8987 6230 or e-mail to request a therapist or connection to local resources.

Workplace Options is staffed by professionals who are completely independent from Tufts. They are bound by professional standards regarding confidentiality, and do not disclose details of individuals who have contacted the service. Any information shared is at the student’s discretion and will not be shared with Tufts. Students can access their website ( using student code: Tufts

Low-Cost Therapy Options

Several options are available for students with a high deductible or inadequate mental health benefits.

  • Open Path Psychotherapy Collective is a non-profit nationwide network of mental health professionals dedicated to affordable, in-person and online therapy sessions. It costs $30 - $60 for individual counseling per session; you can decide the exact cost with your therapist. First explore the Open Path therapist network to select a therapist and then register and pay a one-time membership fee of $59 to join Open Path. 
  • Neighborhood Counseling and Community Services in Davis Square offers free therapy with their trainees.  
  • Life Changes Group offers a sliding scale option—available upon request—for $25 per session with their social work intern.
  • Domestic and international students with the student health insurance (UHCSR) have free access to mental health care through HealthiestYou, a national telehealth service. Please visit this FAQ page for more information on HealthiestYou's virtual counseling service.
Important Information for Students on the Student Health Insurance (UHCSR)

• Coverage with UnitedHealthcare StudentResources for the 2021-2022 academic year ends on August 19th. Coverage begins on August 20th for the 22-23 year. There is no referral required for mental health treatment. Please contact us via email at if you have questions.

• You can access your insurance card by creating an account at (Pick the ID card link to see a digital version).
• For more information about the insurance, visit:
  • Referrals made by Tufts University Health and Wellness should not be considered recommendations.
  • Tufts University does not license, endorse, or recommend any particular provider, nor does it conduct any due diligence regarding the quality of care given by any provider. 
  • Tufts University is not responsible for the professional services rendered by these healthcare or counseling professionals and is not responsible for their availability.
  • These healthcare or counseling professionals will not refer your healthcare matter back to Tufts University Health and Wellness and will not share any personal health information with Tufts University Health and Wellness unless you make a specific written request in accordance with applicable law. 
  • Tufts University urges students to (i) check with their insurance company about whether the provider is an “in-network provider” prior to the first appointment and (ii) interview the provider at the first appointment to make sure the provider is a good fit.