Information for Staff, Faculty, and Student Leaders

"Let’s Talk" is a free drop-in program where students can stop by for a brief, confidential, and anonymous conversation with a professional CAPS counselor to receive consultation, support, referrals, and advice.  Meetings are first-come, first-served, so students may have a brief wait.  Counselors from Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) hold walk-in hours at sites around campus.  Let’s Talk is offered during fall, winter, and spring quarters when classes are in session, except for finals weeks.  There is no appointment necessary and no fee. 

Let’s Talk is not a substitute for therapy or formal counseling and does not constitute mental health treatment.  Visit the Let's Talk page of the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) website for the latest schedule of Let’s Talk locations, days, and times. You can also get info on Let's Talk on our calendar and Facebook page.

Who Is Let’s Talk Designed For?

  • Students who have a question or concern that would benefit from a brief consultation with a professional counselor
  • Students who are hesitant or curious about counseling and want to learn more about it
  • Students who are concerned about a friend and would like information or advice
  • Students who are not open to starting therapy but would like to get a professional counselor’s perspective

How Is Let’s Talk Different From Individual Counseling Through CAPS?

Although Let’s Talk is similar to counseling in that it is a confidential one-on-one conversation with a professional counselor, Let’s Talk is not formal counseling. It is important that you understand the differences between formal counseling and Let’s Talk in order to make referrals that are most helpful for students. The following table compares the two services.

Let’s Talk


Drop in, no appointment necessary

Scheduled appointments are required

Anonymous, and no records are kept of student’s visit

Counseling notes become part of student’s protected record at Student Health Services

Usually a one-time meeting

Appointments may be weekly/bi-weekly up to a handful of times

About 20 minutes (or longer if other students are not waiting)

45- to 50-minute appointments

Focus on brief support, problem-solving, information, advice, and referrals

Assessment of mental health issues, insight-building, skill-building, problem-solving, support, and referrals to other resources

Not appropriate for students who are in immediate crisis

Counselors can manage crisis situations as they emerge in conjunction with CAPS crisis team


Who is NOT a Good Referral to Let’s Talk?

In order for Let’s Talk to be successful, we rely on staff, faculty, and student leaders to make appropriate referrals and to make judgment calls about when a student is not a good fit for Let's Talk.

Here are some examples of students who would NOT be good referrals to Let’s Talk:

Any student who is actively in crisis; for example:

  • Students who are expressing suicidal or homicidal thoughts or plans
  • Students who are exhibiting psychotic behaviors
  • Students who are extremely distressed and having difficulty managing their emotions (for example, crying uncontrollably)
  • Students whose immediate needs are too severe/complex to address in a brief consultation

Let’s Talk is not set up to help students in crisis, as the Let’s Talk counselor does not have all the appropriate resources available at the Let's Talk location to best help a student in crisis. Any student who is experiencing a crisis should be referred to the CAPS central office (Student Health Center, East Wing, 2nd floor above the pharmacy). CAPS is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. when school is in session (including summers). When school is not in session (evenings, weekends, holidays) CAPS has after-hours crisis counselors available to talk with students by phone: Call the main CAPS phone number, (831) 459-2828, and follow the prompts on the automated menu (select option #3) to talk to a live counselor.

If you have a student in crisis who is reluctant to access CAPS services, you may call CAPS during business hours to consult with a crisis counselor at (831) 459-2628.

Students needing disability accommodations to access CAPS services should call CAPS at (831) 459-2628.