The Harvard Kennedy School experience is incredibly rewarding. It can also be rigorous and demanding. Along the way, you may find some support can help keep you on track.

Man smiling and wearing dark shirtTrained as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Jimmy Kane focuses on supporting our students in their academic, personal, and mental wellbeing so they can continue to be successful during their time at HKS. If students are experiencing difficulties, Jimmy will connect them with individuals and resources on campus or in the community that will help get them the support they need. He will also follow up and work with students when someone in the HKS community has expressed concern for their wellbeing.

For any guidance or support, we encourage you to make an appointment with HKS’ Student Support Services.

Mental Health

Counseling and Mental Health Service (CAMHS) includes short-term individual counseling, psychiatric care, support/therapy groups, and psychoeducational workshops. All services are free and confidential. In order to connect with CAMHS for brief therapy or secure a psychiatric provider for your medication, you are strongly encouraged to schedule an initial 20-minute phone consultation through the Patient Portal as soon as possible. Wait times for an initial consultation may increase as the semester progresses.

CAMHS Cares Line is a 24/7 support line for students who are experiencing any distress/have mental health concerns. Speak with a CAMHS Cares Counselor any time by calling 617-495-2042 (this number is located on the back of your Harvard ID).

Harvard students have access to virtual care services with TimelyCare at no cost, including 12 therapy visits, unlimited coaching, self-care content, TALK Now, and community forum.

Students looking to secure a long-term therapist or psychiatrist can utilize ThrivingCampus, Harvard's referral database, for providers in the community that accept their insurance. Students on the student health insurance plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield) need to make sure while on ThrivingCampus that the list of providers is correctly filtered to BCBS under insurances.

Per policy year, Harvard students with the student health insurance plan (BCBS) have $0 co-pays for the first 8 sessions and then $35 co-pays after that. Students have coverage until July 31st each year.

Learn more about finding an off-campus provider through CAMHS.

The HKS Mental Health & Drug Policy Caucus promotes mental health and wellness amongst the HKS student body through campus campaigns, workshops, support groups, and shared resources.

The Kennedy PhD Student Association’s Mental Health Committee makes sure students are aware of mental health resources at and outside of Harvard and hosts wellness events. They also conduct the annual PhD student survey. Current co-leaders are Grace Finley and Diana McLeod.

HKS students can learn how to prioritize and support wellbeing, seek care when needed, and help others in need through the Mental Health and Wellbeing Training for Graduate Students (HarvardKey required).

Kognito is an eLearning course for faculty and staff to provide them with increased knowledge and awareness about student mental health and wellbeing. It also provides information on skills, tools, and resources to support students experiencing emotional distress. This is a highly interactive role-play module!

Medical/Wellness

Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) is a multi-specialty medical practice exclusively for members of the Harvard community.

  • Urgent Care at HUHS > Call them at 617-495-5711 before walking into HUHS.
  • HUHS Patient Portal > Communicate with your providers, review information that is available in your medical record, and schedule available appointments.
  • Student Health Insurance Plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield) > Familiarize yourself with plan benefits and coverage before you need care.
  • ScriptCenter (Pharmacy kiosk at HUHS) > Grab over-the-counter medications/health care products at a price that is far less than what would be charged at CVS or another retail pharmacy. The ScriptCenter is available 24/7 in the entrance of HUHS on the 1st floor of the Smith Campus Center.

The Center for Wellness and Health Promotion (CWHP) works to cultivate a healthy and engaged Harvard community through education and the promotion of holistic health and wellbeing.

  • Weekly exercise, meditation, and yoga classes > Students are welcome to take advantage of the classes offered at CWHP (there is a charge for some classes).
  • Schedule an acupuncture or massage appointment (there is a cost for these services)
  • Mindfulness for students > Students are encouraged to explore their free mindfulness offerings/programs.
  • Request a workshop > CWHP offers a series of workshops FREE for students/leaders of student organizations including yoga, mindfulness, and health promotion topics. Request a workshop online or at a location convenient to you.

HKS students have FREE access to community dance classes in a broad range of movement styles and dance traditions and are designed for all levels and abilities. Taught by the Dance Program's exceptional teaching artists, many classes also feature live musical accompaniment.

Harvard on the Move is a University-wide initiative that promotes various forms of physical activity in an effort to promote holistic wellbeing across the Harvard community. The program sponsors weekly walks and runs for both beginners and experienced runners. Any pace, any distance. All Harvard affiliates welcome!

Harvard Recreation provides fitness facilities and programming to the Harvard Community, with group exercise, personal training, and more. There is a membership fee for HKS students.

Sexual Harassment/Misconduct Support

Through the Office for Gender Equity, students have options to disclose a concern anonymously, request an informal resolution, or file a formal complaint.

OGE’s Prevention & Awareness Program delivers customizable trainings and programming in person or virtually, for faculty, staff, and students. Learn how to request a training.

SHARE provides free and confidential trauma-informed counseling. They can support you whether harm has happened recently, in the past, or is ongoing. The SHARE team is located at the Smith Campus Center, 6th floor, Suite 624.

Email oge_share@harvard.edu to make an appointment with a SHARE counselor or call their 24/7 hotline at 617-495-9100.

SHARE is a confidential office and a completely separate clinical team from CAMHS.

Connect with a HKS Title IX Resource Coordinator to explore supportive measures or no contact orders. Learn about our Title IX policies and procedures and other important resources.

Academic

The Academic Resource Center helps students optimize their learning at Harvard through individual meetings with academic coaches as well as group workshops and accountability sessions. HKS students can book an appointment through the ARC Scheduler or email academicresourcecenter@harvard.edu.

The HKS Communications Program helps students improve, develop, and execute written, spoken, and digital policy communications skills. They offer free private sessions with a writing and public speaking consultant.

HKS Library's Peer Writing Tutors provide individualized support for HKS students working on writing projects. Tutors are trained by an HKS faculty member to help bring out the best writing in their peers through one-on-one workshopping.

HKS librarians can help students find resources (articles, books, data), conduct a literature review, assess source quality, cite sources and avoid plagiarism (including by using Zotero), collect and clean data, use programming/coding tools, implement analytical methods, visualize data, and manage their data responsibly.

Course Assistants (CAs) can support MPP and MPA/ID students working on Policy Analysis Exercise and Second Year Policy Analysis projects with quantitative and qualitative research methods.

New CAs (like our Tutors) will be hired in Fall 2023.

Food

Students have access to the nutrition team at HUHS. They can counsel you to help manage specific health concerns or conditions, such as diabetes, elevated lipids, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies, and eating concerns/disorders. They also can advise you based on your personal needs, including sports nutrition, vegetarian/vegan nutrition, improving nutritional balance, becoming a competent eater, and weight management.

Students do not require a referral. Call 617-495-2068 to make an appointment.

HKS students may elect to purchase GradPlus, a declining balance meal plan for use in designated Harvard University Dining Services campus cafés. Receive a 10 percent discount for any purchase made with your meal plan.

Enroll online.

The HKS Food Chain (HarvardKey required) seeks to make food leftovers available after events are finished to help reduce the volume of our campus' food waste and connect food with our community members.

Sign up by emailing foodchain-join@lists​.hks.harvard.edu to be notified when the next Food Chain event is held.

Groups of 2-5 HKS students can invite an HKS faculty or staff member to the HUDS Café or a restaurant at the Smith Campus Center (Saloniki Greek not included) using a Crimson Cash Card provided by the Office of Student Services. Each participant may spend up to $15​. Students can participate in this program twice each semester.

Learn more about the program and how to register (HarvardKey required).

Important Supportive Offices

HKS Disability Resources > HKS students request accommodations through Melissa Wojciechowski St. John from the Office of Student Services, who serves as Disability Accommodations Coordinator. To receive accommodations, students must disclose and provide medical documentation about their disability, which may be physical, mental, learning, and/or temporary.

University Disability Resources serves as a central resource on disability-related information, procedures, and services for the Harvard community.

The HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (ODIB) supports, advocates for, and advises the Harvard Kennedy School community, including students, to help nurture development, well-being, and success. ODIB works collaboratively across the Kennedy School’s centers, programs, and departments to create accountability, build competency, and mobilize the community toward a more inclusive future. Associate Director Andres Galindo serves as the student-facing function of the office and is responsible for supporting students around DIB issues and activities.

Harvard’s Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging works with stakeholders and partners across the University to create capacity, build community, and spark innovation in support of antiracist and inclusive initiatives.

Harvard Chaplains is a professional community representing many of the world’s religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions, and shares a collective commitment to serving the spiritual needs of Harvard University. 

The Harvard International Office (HIO) provides information on a range of topics, including immigration issues (work permits, travel), financial questions, adjustment to life in the United States, and resources at Harvard and in the community. International graduate students are given the opportunity to participate in the HIO's Host Program for International Students, which connects them with local volunteer hosts living in the Cambridge and Boston areas.

Leah Boccaccio serves as the HIO Advisor for HKS and is available to help students with immigration services and other needs.

The Harvard Ombuds Office is a highly confidential and independent resource available to anyone from Harvard’s community seeking assistance with any issue affecting one’s work or studies. The Ombuds Office can help you think through potentially challenging communications you are initiating or to which you are responding.

The Office offers coaching in how, when, and if to have a difficult conversation and provides impartial facilitation of 1:1 and group conversations.

Some core functions of the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) include responding to criminal incidents; checking on the well-being of students, faculty, and staff; responding to disturbances; providing escorts; taking reports of lost and stolen property; responding to lockouts; investigating suspicious activity; responding to alarms; and investigating trespassers or unwanted guests.

HUPD offers:

Harvard Students’ Spouses and Partners Association (HSSPA) is an entirely volunteer-run organization open to the spouses, partners, and family members of all Harvard students, post-docs, visiting fellows and other affiliates.

HSSPA membership is free, and you can join here.

(Virtual) Programming for Students' Wellbeing
Counseling and Mental Health Services offers an array of virtual programs to promote mental wellbeing for all Harvard students who have paid the Student Health Fee.

The resources and support services listed above are available to HKS students. You can learn more and access these resources on Harvard’s student wellbeing and mental health website.