Semester Off was founded by Ilan P. Goldberg, MD, a board-certified, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and medical ethicist who maintains a private practice in the Boston area.  Through his work with the college population in his own practice, he came to realize the lack of services available to these students.  It bothered Dr. Goldberg that the help he and others could provide these students was inadequate and that existing programs within the mental health system did not meet the specific needs of this population.  He also believed that the creation of a comprehensive group experience would reduce the feelings of shame and isolation many of these students experience and which compounds their sense of failure.