Frequently Asked Questions about Let's Talk

What is Let's Talk?

Let's Talk is counseling consultations for UWL students that provides easy access to informal and confidential support and consultation with counselors from UWL Counseling and Testing Center (CTC).  There are no forms, and no fees. Let's Talk is scheduled os students can get an appointment quickly to check out their concerns.

What happens at a visit to Let's Talk? expanding section

Whether you meet with a consultant in person or over a secure video platform, the consultant will listen closely to your concerns, possibly ask questions, and provide support, perspective, and suggestions for resources. 

How do I access Let’s Talk? expanding section

First, check our website for the most up-to-date information about the location(s) and time(s) for Let's Talk.  When Let's Talk is being offered virtually, through a secure video platform, follow the instructions on our website to access Let's Talk.  You can join the meeting using your browser, so there is no requirement to download any software.  You can identify yourself using whatever name you prefer, or use the pencil icon at the top of your video preview to change your display name.  When Let's Talk is taking place in person, come to the office listed and look for an open door or posted instructions.  

What should I do if the Let's Talk consultant is already meeting with someone? expanding section

When Let’s Talk is taking place through a video platform, the meeting will be locked so that the consultant can admit students one at a time.  The consultant, as host of the meeting, can see that you are waiting, and will make every effort to speak with you as soon as possible.   

When Let’s Talk is taking place in person, look to see if the office door is open. If the consultant is already meeting with someone, the office door will be closed with a sign indicating that the office is occupied. In this case, follow the posted instructions. The wait is usually not long.   

In either form of Let’s Talk, there may be a short wait as the consultant speaks with one or more students who arrived before you. We make every effort to meet with all students who present at Let’s Talk each day, and to see them in the order they arrived.  Sometimes, during particularly busy times of the semester, we are not able to meet with every student.  If you aren’t able to meet with us today, please come to Let’s Talk at another posted day and time, or contact CTC to make an appointment with a counselor.  

 

What are common concerns that people bring up at Let's Talk? expanding section

Students come in with a variety of concerns; no topic is off limits. Common concerns often include: stress, relationships, academic performance, financial struggles, sadness, worry, family problems, and how to help a friend. These are also questions and concerns that many students discuss at their first scheduled appointment at CTC (called a Triage appointment). 

How is Let's Talk different from counseling at CTC? expanding section

Counselors at CTC provide ongoing counseling, which usually consists of regularly scheduled 45-50 minute counseling appointments. Let's Talk is not formal counseling; it is a drop-in service where students can have an informal conversation with a counselor from time to time. 

 

What is the difference between Let's Talk and the CTC Triage appointment? expanding section

Let's Talk is an informal service, to provide consultation and support in locations outside CTC (when in-person services are offered). The Triage appointment is a brief phone consultation and is the first step toward linking students with ongoing counseling services. The process includes completing paperwork as well as assessing symptoms and distress levels. 

 

What is the difference between Let's Talk and Urgent Care at CTC? expanding section

Let's Talk is an informal service, to provide consultation and support in locations outside CTC (when in-person services are offered).  Urgent Care takes part in the CTC offices (when in-person services are offered), and is a service for students in crisis (for example, with serious concerns about their own safety or the safety of others, serious mental health symptoms, or recent traumatic experiences), needing immediate therapeutic support.  If a student presents to Let's Talk in crisis, the consultant will assist the student in receiving the necessary services. This might include connecting the student with other staff at CTC for an Urgent Care appointment, or accessing other emergency treatment.  

 

Who should visit Let's Talk? expanding section

Let's Talk is open to all UWL graduate and undergraduate students currently enrolled in classes. Let's Talk is the best fit for the students who: 

  • are not sure about counseling and wonder what it's like to talk with a counselor.
  • are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor.
  • have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through.
  • have a concern about a friend and want some ideas about what to do.

 

I think I have a problem that would benefit from counseling, but I don't know anything about it. Would going to Let's Talk help me figure out what to do? expanding section

Absolutely. The consultant will help you talk through your issues and help you determine the best way to get help. If you feel comfortable calling CTC, these would also be concerns you could bring to a counselor at a Triage appointment. 

 

I was offered an appointment at UWL Counseling and Testing Center 14 days from now. Can I stop by Let's Talk in the meantime? expanding section

If you believe you need to be seen sooner than the appointment you were given, it's best to call CTC directly and explain your situation. 

 

I went to CTC and spoke with a counselor. The counselor recommended a referral to a therapist in the La Crosse community. Can I come to Let's Talk instead? expanding section
I am currently seeing a therapist at CTC and would like to talk with someone sooner than my next appointment. Can I go to Let's Talk? expanding section

If your next appointment is not soon enough, it is best to contact your therapist or CTC directly to see if you can be seen sooner. 

 

I am currently seeing a therapist at CTC, and I'm not happy with the way things are going. Can I go to Let's Talk instead? expanding section

The best thing to do in your situation is to talk directly with your counselor or contact our front office staff about a counselor change. Counselors are eager to get your feedback, positive or negative. Often, an open conversation about a concern helps smooth out any wrinkles and helps get things back on track. 

 

What else do I need to know? expanding section

Although Let's Talk consultants are professionals, it is not a substitute for psychotherapy or formal counseling and doesn't constitute mental health treatment. Let's Talk consultants 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 consultant can help you determine whether formal counseling at CTC would be useful to you and, if appropriate, assist you in getting connected at CTC. 

 

Let's Talk visits are confidential. Are there any limits to confidentiality? expanding section

Conversations with Let's Talk consultants are confidential, with a few rare exceptions. Counselors may need to share information in an emergency when there is an immediate threat of serious harm to self or others. By law, counselors are mandated reporters of current child abuse.  This means if you are under the age of 18 and report being abused, your consultant is legally required to notify proper authorities. If you are over 18 and report direct knowledge of abuse to a minor or vulnerable population, your consultant may need to report such abuse to authorities. Let's Talk consultants keep brief written notes of their contacts with students.  In the event that there is an emergency or a student is referred to CTC, other CTC staff may see these notes. Finally, these notes can be released in the unlikely event of a court order. Information is also collected about attendance, so that we can keep track of the students we are serving and those we need to continue serving.  

When Let’s Talk takes place over a video platform, students may choose to reserve a consultation anonymously by calling 608-785-8073. The Let’s Talk consultant will ask them for their location in the event of an emergency during the conversation.  When Let’s Talk is taking place in person, students have the option of maintaining their anonymity by not disclosing their name.  

We don't want anything to be a barrier to students accessing help. If you have further questions about confidentiality or any other aspect of Let’s Talk, we encourage you to discuss them with a Let's Talk consultant. 

 

We appreciate the effort and consideration of our colleagues in the Office of Multicultural Student Services and University Centers who have partnered with us to bring this program to UWL.  

The above information was adapted with permission from Cornell University and UW-Eau Claire.  Their dedicated efforts to provide innovative services to students and willingness to share these resources with other universities are deeply appreciated.

Rev: 9/23/2021