Counseling Center’s ‘Let’s Talk’ program gives students informal chance to go to a session

Tyler Parker

The Counseling Center is reaching out to students outside of its Frazee Hall location. 

“Let’s Talk” is a program for students to have free, informal conversations with licensed psychologists without visiting the UK Counseling Center. Each psychologist holds walk-in hours throughout the week and acts as a liaison for an academic college on campus. The program is open to all undergraduate, graduate and professional students on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who are interested in engaging in casual conversations regarding their personal and academic lives are encouraged to visit one of the five spots on campus on weekdays.

The Let’s Talk program is open to students who are looking for a relaxed and confidential counseling session to discuss their issues, including but not limited to relationships, academics, career choices and adjustment issues. This informal format was created to release the pressure or nervousness that can sometimes be associated with visiting a mental health services office.

“Traditional counseling services work for a lot of folks but certainly not the majority,” said senior staff psychologist Dr. Nathan Miles. “There’s a stigma around mental health services, so I think that the visibility piece is helpful. This is a way for us to reach out to students who may have an initial mistrust of mental health services.”

Free sessions are offered in multiple buildings on campus during the week, and students can drop-in and gain access to professional expertise without scheduling an appointment or adding to their student health records.

According to staff psychologist Sharon Martin, the Let’s Talk program “offers more accessibility and helps students address anxiety, depression and psychological issues early on.”

“It helps students see that we are just human beings and someone they can talk to which may encourage students to get regular counseling,” she said.

According to Miles, the Let’s Talk program is expected to grow, and each program member is eager to bring more awareness to it. To increase the visibility of the program, Let’s Talk has partnered with many campus organizations such as the Martin Luther King Center, Student Support Services and Greek life to market the benefits of student participation in the program.

“We have connected with just about every department on campus, college and student support group especially minority organizations. We are trying to put a name and a face to the program,” Miles said. “We are early in the program, so we know that there are growing pains and that it’ll take a while before the program catches on, but I think it will grow and have even more of an impact on UK’s students.”

There is no appointment or fee necessary to participate in the Let’s Talk Program.