Department of Behavioral Health and Academic Counseling

The Department of Behavioral Health and Academic Counseling (BHAC) unites the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Services, Bureau of Study Counsel, Center for Wellness, Mental Health Service, and Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response in one department to better coordinate student-focused services. Below are descriptions of the services provided by each of these units.

Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Services (AODS)

The Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Services (AODS) is a multidimensional resource for students, faculty, staff, and members of the larger Harvard University community, offering a wide range of programs and services aimed at reducing the negative consequences associated with heavy, episodic drinking and substance abuse. AODS collaborates with students and staff throughout the University to create a comprehensive program focused on the health and safety of Harvard students. AODS also trains a select group of student leaders to be Drug & Alcohol Peer Advisers (DAPAs), who act as health opinion leaders and peer resources for issues around alcohol and drug use. For more information please visit our Website.

Bureau of Study Counsel

The Bureau of Study Counsel is designed to help students fully develop their intellectual and emotional potential and to make the most of their time at Harvard. Academic and personal counseling is available on a confidential basis to help students adjust to the transition to Harvard, manage the challenges of an exciting and demanding environment, define their motivation and aspirations, and resolve conflicts and difficulties. Bureau services include academic peer tutoring, the Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies, and issue-focused groups and workshops on such topics as college adjustment, study skills, relationships, and other matters pertinent to student life (see Support Resources for more information).

Center for Wellness

The Center for Wellness (CFW) is a central resource focused on promoting the lifelong health and well-being of those in the Harvard community. The CFW provides health and wellness-related education, information, programs, and advice in a confidential setting, including:

The CFW also provides an "Ask a Nurse" line (617-998-HUHS [4847]) during regular business hours for information, guidance, and advice. The Center is prepared to meet each individual wherever they are on their journey towards a balanced sense of health and well-being.

Community Health Initiative

The mission of the Community Health Initiative (CHI) is to promote health and wellness within Harvard University through student-initiated programs and promotions. Community Health Initiative representatives are trained to serve as liaisons between campus resources, such as HUHS, and their residential community. As a student-focused resource, CHI members take proactive, holistic approaches encompassing the physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and environmental dimensions of health. Representatives gauge students’ specific health concerns, respond with information and preventive strategies, advocate for better health options for the students, and refer their peers to myriad campus and community resources. Past initiatives have focused on sleep, nutrition, and stress management, as well as yoga, tai chi, and massage therapy. CHI also has a special interest in education and advocacy regarding healthy relationships, sexual health, alcohol safety, and mental health issues.

Community Health Initiative - First Year (CHI-FY)

At the beginning of each year, first-year students who are interested in helping improve overall well-being for their peers are selected. CHI-FY representatives work with the CFW, other CHI representatives, and the College to provide feedback about health and wellness issues, help plan and request programs, sponsor campus-wide events, and help promote various health-enhancing programs to first-year students.

Mental Health Services

The Mental Health Service provides 24/7/365 coverage to the Harvard community, offering counseling for a wide variety of concerns:

Treatment options include individual psychotherapy, medication management, biofeedback, and group and couples therapy.

All visits are confidential and mental health records are held separately from the rest of the medical record, except for information on medications and hospitalizations. For those who desire greater privacy, mental health providers are available at one of three non-Holyoke Center satellite clinics on the Harvard Law, Business, and Medical School campuses. Appointments may be made weekdays during business hours by phone or in person, and are scheduled within 24 to 48 hours of initial contact. For more urgent concerns, same-day appointments are available during regular hours of operation, and mental health clinicians are on call evenings, weekends, and holidays. For further information contact the Mental Health Service or visit the HUHS Website.

Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR)

24-hour response line: 617-495-9100 731 Holyoke Center

The Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response provides confidential, 24-hour information, assistance, and support for those who have experienced sexual assault and related forms of interpersonal violence, including sexual harassment and relationship abuse. Services provided by HUHS and OSAPR include:

Students may access these services by calling or visiting the office. All communications and services are completely confidential and no information about the victim will be reported to the police unless the victim requests it.

Peer Counseling

The Mental Health Service at HUHS, in conjunction with the Bureau of Study Counsel, oversees the training and supervision of five undergraduate peer counseling groups offering anonymous, confidential hotline and drop-in counseling throughout the academic year.


Thayer Basement
Hotline and drop-in hours: Thu.–Sun., 8 pm–1 am

Contact is staffed by Harvard undergraduates who have been trained as peer counselors. The Contact staff includes women and men of various sexual orientations, racial backgrounds, and religious affiliations—a diverse group prepared to assist a diverse community. All Contact staff members share a deep concern about issues of sexual orientation, sex, sexuality and relationships and are interested in discussion of these topics. They also maintain a rapidly growing library of books, pamphlets, news clippings, and magazines. Drops-ins are welcome to peruse materials in the office or to borrow them from the library.

Eating Concerns Hotline and Outreach (ECHO)

Quincy House, F-Entry Basement
Hotline hours: Nightly, 8 pm–8 am Drop-in hours: Sun.–Thu., 8–11 pm

ECHO is a peer counseling group that addresses concerns surrounding eating, body image, and self-esteem. ECHO staff members are undergraduates trained to provide non-judgmental support, both for those dealing with these issues and those who are concerned about a friend, roommate, significant other, or family member. In addition to staffing drop-in hours and a hot-line, ECHO staff members plan and produce outreach events for the Harvard community.


HUHS 5th floor
Hotline and drop-in hours: Nightly, 7 pm–midnight

Peer Contraceptive Counselors is a group of undergraduate men and women who counsel Harvard students about contraceptives, sexually transmitted infections, relationships, and sexuality.


Lowell House Basement E 13
Hotline hours: Nightly, 9 pm–8 am Drop-in hours: Sun.–Thu., 9 pm–midnight
For 24-hour assistance: contact the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR) 24-hour Hotline at 617-495-9100.

Response is a group of undergraduate women professionally trained to provide peer counseling on issues of rape, abuse, intimate violence, psychological and physical harassment, and relationships. Response staff members provide non-judgmental support, honest answers, and information, and are aware of resources on and off-campus for individuals in need of medical, legal, and/or psychological support. Response also provides outreach opportunities to the Harvard student community during the academic year.


Thayer Hall Basement
617-495-4969 Hotline and Drop-in hours: Nightly, 7 pm–7 am

Room 13 is the oldest peer counseling group at Harvard. It is staffed by a group of men and women; each night a male and a female peer counselor are available to listen and offer support on any issue affecting students. Room 13 staff members offer a supportive, sympathetic ear, maintain strict confidentiality, and welcome discussion of any concerns without criticizing or passing judgment. Room 13 staff members don’t claim to have any easy answers, but understand that sometimes it helps just to talk to someone who is attentive and truly cares about what one has to say.

Special Support

Life Raft

Memorial Church Basement 617-495-2042 Wed., 12–2 pm

Life Raft is a weekly bereavement support group for Harvard students, faculty and staff facing life-threatening illness or death, or the death of a loved one; it is also available to their family members and friends. This free, confidential service offers weekly drop-in meetings and is open to all members of the Harvard/Radcliffe community, including alumni, retirees, and former staff and faculty. The Life Raft group includes members of many ages from all areas of the community; discussions are ongoing and there is no obligation for continuous attendance.

Students may contact the Life Raft coordinator by phone or email, and are welcome to attend at any time.