Let’s Talk – A student’s experience

Hello fellow Slugs! I hope all of you are coping okay with Week 8, which is a time when all of our final projects and deadlines suddenly seem very, very real. Also, this is the time of the quarter when many of us start planning which classes to take in the spring. Clearly, it’s an exciting and very stressful time!

So… CAPS started a really cool program last year called “Let’s Talk,” which was designed to give students the opportunity to have a brief, anonymous, drop-in consultation with therapists on staff with absolutely no appointment necessary. Although I personally think this is an awesome program, many of my friends told me they have never heard of it. “Let’s Talk” is still going strong for winter quarter, and it might be just what you need this quarter if you have any questions about counseling or have been unable to schedule a formal appointment with CAPS.

Let's Talk The reason I’m so enthusiastic about advertising for “Let’s Talk” is not just because I’m a CAPS peer educator. When I was going through a rough time last year, I decided to visit “Let’s Talk” and had an overwhelmingly positive experience. My participation in “Let’s Talk” was what encouraged me to eventually set up counseling sessions with CAPS. If you’re still a little skeptical of “Let’s Talk”… trust me, I was too. As someone who volunteers with CAPS, I thought that meant that I was strong and smart enough to take care of myself and was exempt from therapy. (Yes, I do realize it’s very ironic that someone who works to de-stigmatize mental illness felt there was a stigma involved in pursuing counseling!) Long story short, I wasn’t sleeping and I struggled with feelings of constant anxiety.I knew that I needed to take better care of myself, so I finally decided to talk to a counselor at “Let’s Talk.” I went to the Baskin Engineering location, where a small sign pointed me towards the room. I knocked on the door, and a counselor warmly welcomed me in. She talked me through some of the confidentiality policies, and explained that “Let’s Talk” was not the same as a therapy session. However, she attentively listened to me as I discussed my issues and offered empathy. She encouraged me to make an appointment with CAPS, and offered resources for counseling off-campus as well. Even though my session was only twenty minutes long, I walked away feeling much lighter and more confident in myself.

While therapy may not be for everyone, I think that visiting “Let’s Talk” and actually talking to a counselor is definitely worth a shot. The times do change each quarter, so make sure you’re following the CAPS newsletter and Facebook page to stay posted! For now, Let’s Talk is held Mondays, 3 to 4:30 pm, at the Cantu Center; Wednesdays, 1:30 to 3:30 pm, at McHenry Library, Room 2285; and Thursdays, 2:30 to 4:30 pm, at Baskin Engineering, Room 153B. Good luck Slugs!