fbpx Wellbeing, Health, and Support | Harvard Kennedy School

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 blue shirtIn addition to your degree program team, you can also turn to Jimmy Kane, Senior Associate Director of Student Support Services. As a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), Jimmy focuses on supporting our HKS 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 (Confidential Resource)

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 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.

Off-Campus Referral and Support
  • TimelyCare > You have FREE access to 12 telehealth counseling sessions per academic year (August 1 start) through TimelyCare. You must register with your Harvard email address. 
  • ThrivingCampus > If you are looking for a long-term therapist or psychiatrist, you can utilize this comprehensive referral database to contact mental health providers around Harvard to determine availability and fit. ThrivingCampus for students on the student health insurance plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield) > $0/sessions 1-8 and $35/sessions 9-52. This applies per policy year, August 1–July 31.

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

Mental Health + Wellness Caucus

The HKS Mental Health + Wellness Caucus (MHWC) promotes mental health and wellness amongst the HKS student body through campus campaigns, workshops, support groups, and shared resources. MHWC closely collaborates with HKS faculty members and administration, Counseling and Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Harvard-wide groups/resources, and the student body to ensure that all needs are heard and advocated for.

Kennedy PhD Student Association – Mental Health Committee

This KPSA 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.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Training for Graduate Students

Learn how to prioritize and support wellbeing, seek care when needed, and help others in need through the student online learning module (HarvardKey required).


Harvard University Health Services (Confidential Resource)

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

Center for Wellness and Health Promotion

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.
Harvard Dance Center

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 Center's exceptional teaching artists, many classes also feature live musical accompaniment.

All Dance Center community classes are offered via a 10-week series, with drop-in options available for most.

Harvard on the Move

Harvard on the Move sponsors weekly walks and runs for both beginners and experienced runners. The program is a University-wide initiative that promotes physical and psychological wellness for students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as our neighbors in Cambridge and Boston.

Harvard Recreation

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
Office for Gender Equity

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 Counselors (Confidential Resource)

SHARE Counselors offer a range of support to all members of the Harvard community impacted by harm or who are supporting someone. 

Access their confidential hotline at 617-495-9100 to speak with a SHARE counselor, available 24/7. 

Check out SHARE’s trauma-informed groups/workshops, which include survivor support and coping skills groups and a drop-in yoga practice.

Title IX Resource Coordinators

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 Resource Center

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.

Communications Consulting & Resources

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 Peer Writing Tutors

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.

Contact or make an appointment with a librarian

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.

PAE/SYPA Data & Methods Course Assistants

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.

Graduate/Professional School Student Meal Plan

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 here.

HKS Food Chain

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.

Take a Faculty Member to the Café

Groups of 2-4 HKS students can invite a HKS faculty member to the HUDS Café to spend time together outside of the classroom. Each participant is given a $10 voucher. Students can participate in this program twice each semester.

Register your group with the Office of Student Services by completing this form​ (HarvardKey required).

Important Supportive Offices
University Disability Resources

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.

Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

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. Book one of their office hours or email to schedule an appointment.

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 (Confidential Resource)

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. 

Harvard International Office

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.

Harvard Ombuds Office (Confidential Resource)

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.

Harvard University Police Department

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

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.