What is Counslr?
Counslr is a platform providing college students with remote text-based mental health counseling. Our goal is to help you prioritize your mental health, on your own schedule, from the comfort of your own device. Counslr is available for free to all students at partnered colleges and universities.
What is text-based mental health counseling?
The Counslr app is entirely text-based, meaning you will interact with your counselor through messages (rather than audio or video). Some issues are still best solved with face-to-face counseling, but in many cases text-based counseling is extremely effective. Some of the reasons people prefer text-based counseling include the ability to have a session from anywhere without anyone else being able to listen in, the ability to see your conversation log after a session to review what you discussed, and the feeling of increased comfort that may accompany typing instead of talking, among others.
How do I get started?
Download the Counslr mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store. You can sign up in the app using your school login credentials.
What if Counslr isn't offered at my school?
Counslr is only available to students at partnered colleges and universities. We're aiming to expand to as many schools as we can, to help as many students in possible. In the mobile app, you can select the "Don't see your school?" button and tell us why you want Counslr to come to your school. In the meanwhile, you can likely still access mental health counseling at your school's campus counseling center.
How do I start a counseling session?
You can either schedule a session for a specific date and time in the near future, or you can tap the "Chat Now" button to be immediately paired with a counselor. Counseling sessions last 45 minutes, and your counselor will be actively engaged in conversation throughout that period.
How much does a counseling session cost me?
Nothing! Sessions are free to students at our partnered schools. We won't ever ask you for any payment or insurance information.
Why do you ask for my location?
State laws require us to only pair you with counselors who are licensed in the state in which you are located, so we have to ask for your location for legal reasons. Your location data is not used for any purpose other than to verify your state and pair you with a counselor.
How do I know my health information is private and secure?
All of your information is protected under HIPAA, and is thus encrypted and stored using industry-standard protocols. We do not share your information with any third parties without your explicit consent, except in very specific emergency situations.
What's an emergency situation? When would my information be shared with a third party?
An emergency situation is when your counselor believes someone (including you) is in imminent danger. In these situations, your counselor may contact relevant emergency services or your emergency contact in order to let them know the relevant details of the situation. Emergency situations are the only time any information will be shared with anyone without your explicit consent.
Will my parents find out if I use Counslr?
Not if you don't want them to know! We don't disclose any information to your parents or any other outside parties without your explicit consent. The only exception is if you're under 18, in which case you'll need parental consent to sign up for the Counslr platform in the first place — but even then, they won't know when you schedule sessions unless you choose to tell them.
What about my school — do they know if I use Counslr?
Nope! We only share aggregate information with our partnered schools, like how many students are using the app and at what times of day usage is most common. We don't share any personally-identifiable information about your sessions with your school.
How about the campus counseling center — what information do you give them?
We don't automatically tell campus counseling centers about your Counslr sessions, and we don't ask them about your in-person sessions. However, if and when you want information to be shared and you give us your explicit written permission to share that information, we can arrange for information to be shared both ways in order to ensure improved continuity of care.
Can I pick a specific counselor to meet with?
For your first session, you'll be paired with any available counselor. For future sessions, you'll be able to choose to meet with a counselor you previously met with, or to meet with a new counselor who is available.
Can I still use Counslr if I also go to my school's campus counseling center, or to a private counselor or therapist?
Yes, and in fact we encourage you to meet with both if that's the best thing for your mental health! In many cases, Counslr can function as a supplement for your in-person counselors or therapists, not a replacement for them.
Are there any platform usage limits I should be aware of?
You can't start a new session until at least 6 hours have passed since your previous session. There may also be a maximum number of sessions you can schedule each week or month, based on our particular agreement with your school.
What platforms can I use to access Counslr?
Counslr is currently only available on iOS and Android. We're also aiming to launch a Web portal soon!