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Response and ECHO Move Back to Lowell Post-Renovation

Lowell House will once again house the offices of two peer counseling groups.
Lowell House will once again house the offices of two peer counseling groups. By Rachel L. Reynolds
By Julia A. Kendall and Charles Xu, Contributing Writers

Two Harvard peer counseling groups — Response and Eating and Concerns Hotline and Outreach — recently returned to a newly renovated Lowell House, according to the organizations’ websites.

Indigo Counseling has moved to Thayer basement, where Response used to reside.

Response, which focuses on relationship issues, and ECHO, which addresses body image issues and eating disorders, both relocated their services during the renovation of Lowell in 2017. Response temporarily moved to Thayer and ECHO transferred to Eliot. Now, the peer counseling groups have reclaimed their original spots in Lowell basement.

Indigo, previously operating out of the Adams H Entryway, provides counseling related to issues of race, class and first-generation status. After its inception in spring 2016, Indigo experienced a staff shortage that prompted a year-long hiatus, but reopened in Sept. 2017.

Lowell House Administrator Elizabeth B. Terry praised Response’s move back to the river.

“The peer counseling that Response offers is very important, especially in light of the results of the recent Harvard AAU Survey,” she wrote in an email. Last month’s Association of American Universities survey reported that the prevalence of sexual assault and harrassment at Harvard has remained unchanged since 2015.

“I'm glad that Lowell House has been able to retain space for this group for so many years, even into the renewed House,” Terry wrote. “I hope that it will be useful and comforting to the River area students to have the RESPONSE office nearby.”

Darius Atefat-Peckham ’23 said that more students may seek help now that Indigo has relocated to the Yard.

“I know as a Harvard student, I’m just working all the time, so something that’s like a big time commitment and [which] I have to walk far for won’t happen generally, even if I need it on a lesser scale, like a haircut,” he said. “So I think it’s definitely beneficial to have things nearby.”

Benjamin J. Dreier ’22 also said he thinks that freshmen can benefit from counseling centers near their dorms.

“I guess in general I support those things being closer to the Yard, because freshmen in general are more likely to use the services,” Dreier said.

Indigo declined to comment on the move. Response and Harvard University Health Services did not provide comment in time for publication. ECHO did not respond to a request for comment.

Indigo joins two other peer counseling groups who will stay on in Thayer basement — Room 13, which provides general peer counseling, and Contact, which supports LGBTQ mental health.

Indigo has drop-in hours every night in Thayer B-01, and Response and ECHO have drop-in hours every night from Sunday through Wednesday.

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