FAQ

Nervous to use Uncle Joe’s because you aren’t sure how peer-counseling works? Wondering about the set up of our office or how to use the phone line? Then watch this video to answer some of your questions!

  • Who can utilize Uncle Joe’s?

    • We are available 24/7 to talk to all undergraduate Washington University students.

  • What can I call or come in for?

    • Uncle Joe’s encourages all Washington University undergraduate students to come in to talk about any problems or concerns they may have.  We are each trained for over 100 hours in a wide variety of topics.

  • What happens when I come in to Uncle Joe’s?

    • When you enter our office, there will always be two Uncle Joes on duty.  The office contains two rooms where counselors can speak with students.  Upon entering, you will be able to speak privately in one of these rooms with one of the counselors on duty.  If both Uncle Joes are speaking with students already, please call our voicemail and leave a message, and another counselor will return your call within 15 minutes.

  • What does it mean to be a “peer counseling and resource center”?

    • Uncle Joe’s counselors are undergraduate students trained to speak with other Washington University undergraduates about any issues they may be dealing with.  We can refer you to a variety of on- and off-campus resources and also have many pamphlets and informational materials on a wide range of topics.

  • What makes Uncle Joe’s counselors qualified?

    • Prior to becoming active counselors, all Uncle Joes go through over 100 hours of extensive training and evaluations in a variety of topics pertinent to mental health and student life at Washington University.  Active Uncle Joes continue training throughout every semester.  We are prepared to talk to students about anything they may be dealing with.

  • Can I only call from 10:00 PM – 1:00 AM?

    • Students can call our voicemail 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Excluding university breaks, there are always Uncle Joes available to talk over the phone.  If you are looking to talk to someone in person, our office is open every evening from 10:00 PM – 1:00 AM.  During reading and finals periods, Uncle Joe’s does not hold office hours, but we are still available 24/7 through our phone line.

  • Why didn’t anyone pick up when I called?

    • While your phone call may be answered directly from 10:00 PM – 1:00 AM, we are not able to directly answer our phone during non-office hours.  If your phone call is not directly answered, it will ring and go to our voicemail, where you can leave a message with your name and phone number.  The Uncle Joe on duty will receive a notification when a message is left and return your call within 15 minutes.

  • What happens if I don’t answer when Uncle Joe’s returns my call?

    • Due to concerns for safety and confidentiality, our counselors will only call once after you’ve called our number and left a voice message. This is in case you are now in a position where it would be uncomfortable or unsafe to answer. If you think you’ve missed this call, or if you have not been called back within 15 minutes for any reason, please call again clearly leaving your name and number and we will try again to contact you.

  • Will Uncle Joe’s ever not return my call?

    • If you have called our number and left a voice message with a name and a number you can be reached at, Uncle Joe’s will always call you back within 15 minutes. If you do not receive a call within 15 minutes it is possible our counselors either were not able to hear the number you left in our voicemail well enough to return your call or no one answered when our counselor attempted to call you. In either case, if 15 minutes has passed please call again and be sure to clearly and slowly state your number so that we may try to contact you once more.

  • Where is the Uncle Joe’s office?

    • Our office is located along the Gregg storefronts on the South 40, between Wash U Wash and Student Technology Services.  Students can use their university ID cards to swipe in to the building during our open hours, either through the door between Wash U Wash and STS or through the side door by Off The Row.  Signs lead the way through the hallway to our office.

  • What happens if I walk in and someone I know is on duty?

    • There are always two Uncle Joes on duty in the office during walk-in hours, as well as one with a pager to take phone calls.  If you know someone who is on duty, you can opt to speak with the other Uncle Joe in the office.  If the other Joe is already speaking with someone and you do not wish to speak to the Joe that you know, or if you know both Joes in the office, you can choose to speak to another available counselor on our phone line. (The Uncle Joes in the office will set you up with another Joe to talk to over the phone).

  • What happens if I speak to someone at Uncle Joe’s and then see them on campus?

    • Uncle Joe’s is a confidential service, so the Uncle Joe will not acknowledge or talk to you, unless you initiate contact with them.  They will never discuss your visit to Uncle Joe’s with you.

  • Is Uncle Joe’s confidential?

    • Yes.  Uncle Joes are not responsible employees (mandatory reporters), so we are not required to report sexual assault or abuse.  Uncle Joe’s will not disclose the issues students come in to talk about unless a counselor has reason to believe that a student may put themselves or someone else in immediate and severe danger.  We do not ask students for their names or other identifying information.

  • What is the “one time per issue” policy?

    • Although all Uncle Joes go through extensive, continual training, we are not qualified to provide ongoing counseling services.  We are, however, available to talk to students whenever they need us, provided that each conversation is about a different issue.  We also provide referrals to counselors at SHS, private practitioners, and other organizations who have received further training and have sufficient expertise to provide ongoing counseling.

  • My friend is dealing with a lot.  Can I come in to Uncle Joe’s with them?

    • Yes, students are more than welcome to come in together to provide support or have a conversation together with Uncle Joe’s.  We also welcome students to come in independently if they want to get help for a friend.  We have a wide variety of resources available and are available to help students understand how they can best support their friends during tough times.

  • Can I come in or call just to get resources?

    • Yes, we have many pamphlets and other information on a variety of topics related to mental health and the student experience at Washington University.

  • How many people come in to Uncle Joe’s?

    • Because we are a confidential service, we cannot disclose any information about the students who come in to Uncle Joe’s.  We are used enough to be considered a valuable resource for our campus that the university is continually willing to fund.

  • How do I become an Uncle Joe?

    • Uncle Joe’s recruits new members every fall semester and trains new members every spring semester.  For more information, please visit our Recruitment page, or email unclejoesrecruitment@gmail.com for more information.