What is Counslr?
Counslr is a platform providing remote text-based mental health support. 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 schools and employees at partnered companies.
What is text-based mental health support?
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 support is extremely effective. Some of the reasons people prefer text-based support 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 or place of work?
Counslr is only available to students and employees at partnered organizations. We're aiming to expand to as many organizations as we can, to help as many people as possible. In the mobile app, you can select the "Don't see your organization?" button and tell us why you want Counslr to come to your school or place of work.
How do I start a 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. Sessions last 45 minutes, and your counselor will be actively engaged in conversation throughout that period.
How much does a session cost me?
Sessions are free to end users at our partner organizations. We won't ever ask you for any payment or insurance information.
Why do you ask for my location?
In some cases, your location data must used to verify that you are located within a jurisdiction in which your counselor is licensed to provide support. Besides such basic checks, your location data is only ever accessed in emergency situations.
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 school/employer/parents find out if I use Counslr?
Not if you don't want them to know. We don't disclose any information to any outside party 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 whether or when you schedule sessions unless you choose to tell them.)
What data do you share with my school/employer?
We only share aggregate information with our partner organizations, like how many users have visited 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 or employer.
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 any counselor with whom you've previously held a session, or to meet with a new counselor who is available.
What approaches do counselors use?
All counselors on the Counslr platform are licensed mental health professionals and have training in a variety of approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Solution Focused Brief Therapy and other evidence-based techniques and strategies.
Can I still use Counslr if I also go to a separate counselor or therapist?
Yes, and in fact we encourage you to meet with both if you believe that to be the best approach 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. For example, many of our students at partnered schools utilize both Counslr as well as on-campus counseling center resources.
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 or employer.
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!
Is Counslr available to my family as well?
At the moment, Counslr is only available to students and employees at partnered organizations, not their family members.
Does Counslr offer audio- or video- based support?
Counslr is an entirely text-based platform.
What information do you give to the campus counseling center?
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.