Let's Talk

Let’s Talk invites students to talk one-on-one with a counselor and seek professional advice without having to make an appointment, fill out paperwork, or sign up for counseling.

Let’s Talk is the best fit for students who…

  • Aren't sure about counseling or are wondering what it's like to talk to a counselor
  • Would like the perspective of a counselor, but aren't interested in ongoing counseling
  • Would like to talk through a specific problem with someone
  • Could benefit from one-on-one professional support, but may not need formal counseling



Link to Join


4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Join Virtually


1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Join Virtually


11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Join Virtually


4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Join Virtually


10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Join Virtually

Let’s Talk meetings are...

  • Free for currently enrolled GVSU students
  • Available virtually
  • Typically, about 20-25 minutes in length

Let’s Talk is not a substitute for counseling and is not appropriate for urgent concerns or mental health emergencies. If you are in crisis, please refer to our emergency services.

Some Let's Talk counselors have specific expertise, so feel free to learn more about each counselor and decide who may be a good fit for you considering availability.

Get to Know the Counselors

Maha Baalbaki, Ph.D. (she/her) | Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Brian Bossick, Ph.D. (he/him) | Assistant Director of Assessment and Future Planning

Bonnie Dykstra, Ph.D. (she/her) | Coordinator of AOD Treatment and Recovery

Abraham Eapen, Psy.D. (he/him) | Coordinator of Group Services 

Maaike Hulst, LLMSW (she/her) | Adjunct Counselor

Eric Klingensmith, Psy.D. (he/him) | Associate Director, Director of Clinical and Crisis Services

Pam Miller, Ph.D., ABPP (she/her) | Associate Director, Director of Training

Mikaela Padgen, LLMSW (she/her) | Mental Health Communications and Outreach Specialist

Jaedah Pickens, LMSW (she/they) | Coordinator of Black Student Mental Health

Chris Pierrant, M.A., LLPC (she/her) | Coordinator of Peer Support and Education

Melissa Selby-Theut, LMSW (she/her) | Associate Director, Director of Prevention and Community Education

Andrea Smith, Psy.D. (she/her) | Associate Director, Director of Alcohol and Other Drugs Services

Paige Vermaat, LMSW (she/her) | Coordinator of Case Management 

Les White, LMSW, CAADC (he/him) | Coordinator of MSW Training

Kim Wright, MSN, PMHNP-BC (she/her) | Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-BC

Let's Talk FAQs

Let’s Talk offers students free, easy access to talk individually with professional counselors from the University Counseling Center. While no appointment is necessary, students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Let’s Talk visits are typically 20-25 minutes and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. During your meeting, the counselor will listen closely to your concerns and provide support, perspective, problem solving, and suggestions for resources.

Counselors provide ongoing counseling, which usually consists of bi-monthly 45-50 minute appointments. Let’s Talk is not formal counseling; it is a drop-in service where students can meet with a counselor for about 20-25 minutes and get the help they are seeking in just one or two visits.

Absolutely. The Let’s Talk counselor will talk through your issue with you and help you determine the best way to get help.

Because regular counseling visits are not available at Let’s Talk, following up with the referral is a good idea. Unfortunately, the University Counseling Center cannot always provide ongoing counseling to every student who requests it.

If your next appointment is not soon enough, it is best to contact the UCC directly (616-331-3266) to see if they can see you sooner.

No. Let’s Talk is not a crisis service and should not be utilized as one. In the event you or a friend is in immediate crisis or danger, please contact GVPD at (616) 331-3255 or got to your local emergency room. The Ottawa County 24-hour Helpline is 1-866-512-4357, the Kent County 24-hour Access Line is (616) 336-3909, and the national mental health crisis line is 988.

The best thing to do in this situation is to express your concerns directly to your counselor. Counselors are eager to get your feedback, positive or negative. Often times an open conversation about your concerns can resolve any issues.

Although Let’s Talk counselors are professionals, Let’s Talk is not a substitute for psychotherapy or formal counseling and does not constitute mental health treatment. Let’s Talk counselors meet briefly with students to help them with specific problems and to introduce them to what it’s like to speak with a counselor. Your Let’s Talk counselor consultant can help you determine whether formal counseling would be useful to you and, if appropriate, connect you with the UCC.

Conversations with Let’s Talk counselors are private and confidential, with a few exceptions. Counselors may need to share information in an emergency, such as when there is an immediate threat of harm to yourself or others. Counselors are also required by law to report when a minor or vulnerable adults is being abuse. We don’t want anything to be a barrier to students accessing help. If you have further questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to discuss them with a Let’s Talk counselor. Remember that Let’s Talk is not to be substituted for therapy or crisis counseling. Let’s Talk visits are conversations and no record of your visit will be documented in any university or health record except in these rare emergency situations.

This Let’s Talk program is modeled by the Let’s Talk program at Cornell University. With permission, some of the material from this website has been duplicated from Cornell University. We would like to thank Cornell University CAPS for sharing their idea and helping us launch this Let's Talk on our campus.

Page last modified January 31, 2024