Student Mental Health & Counseling

Services for students at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA

The Office of Student Mental Health and Counseling (OSMHC) is designed to meet the needs of Penn State College of Medicine students with compassion, honesty, and confidentiality. All issues are taken seriously – no problem is “too small” to talk about.

The years of graduate school and medical training can be among of the most exciting and gratifying of a person’s life. However, being a student can also cause significant amounts of stress and uncertainty. During these times, students may find it helpful to have additional support and encouragement. The OSMHC is available to provide assistance and guidance students need to achieve personal and academic success.

Office of Student Mental Health and Counseling providers work on an appointment basis, but in most instances, providers should be able to respond to a mental health emergency during business hours. If a particularly urgent situation (suicidal thoughts, assault, extreme panic) presents itself during these hours, students can contact the office and indicate the need for immediate attention. We will then make every effort to respond promptly.

Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., please contact Dr. Holder directly (call 717-531-8658 or page 6529).

24/7/365 options for crisis situations include:

The Penn State Crisis Line is an extension of the services offered by the Office of Student Mental Health and Counseling. Reports from calls made to this crisis line are received by our office.

Students experiencing a life-threatening emergency should call ext. 8888 if on campus, and 911 for off-campus emergencies, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Students in the College of Medicine can schedule appointment directly with the provider. Students have a choice of working with Dr. Kelly Holder (psychologist) or Dr. Martha Peaslee-Levine (psychiatrist). Their offices are located in the College of Medicine in Hershey, PA.

Kelly Holder, PhD
717-531-8658
kholder@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Martha Peaslee-Levine, MD
717-531-8778
mlevine1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Fees & Eligibility

All Penn State College of Medicine students are eligible for treatment for free from the OSMHC. When referrals are made to mental health providers outside of our office, these service are normally covered under the provision of the student’s health insurance policy.

Mental health providers covered by Aetna Student Health Insurance not affiliated with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center can be found here.

Penn State University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) hosts a Community Provider Database. Access this web-based Community Provider Database to find treatment providers and set up services in the community. This database is growing, and providers are being updated and added regularly.

A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body.  You keep tabs on your blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.  How about your emotional well-being?

For free, anonymous, online mental health screening click on the following links which lead to Mental Health America’s website.  Following screening, you will be provided with information, resources and tools to discuss the results with a provider.

Please contact Dr. Kelly Holder (kholder@pennstatehealth.psu.edu) if you would to make an appointment in the Office of Student Mental Health and Counseling to discuss your results.

What to Expect

All Penn State College of Medicine students are eligible for services within the OSMHC free of charge. Appointments are scheduled and based on counselor availability. Counselors offer flexible appointment times, which include evening availability. We encourage students to come in and talk, even if they are not sure that counseling is what they need. During the initial meeting, students will develop a course of action with their counselor.

Benefits of Counseling

There are many benefits to counseling including improved relationships with friends and family, better ability to manage stress, and increased academic success.

Confidentiality

Providers within the OSMHC strive to uphold strict confidentiality. As such, all information shared during counseling is confidential. No one outside of the OSMHC may have access to the specifics of sessions without the written consent of students, except in situations where there is a threat or danger to life. Records are NOT a part of the student’s academic file.

Mental Health and Counseling Services

Our most common clinical services include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Couples counseling
  • Psychiatric evaluation and medication management
  • Brief case management (providing referrals to other agencies and assisting with accessing resources in the community)

Short-term, goal-directed counseling is available to students with concerns that fall within the OSMHC scope of practice. No formal limit of services is set, and students will receive appointments, referrals, and consultation based on student need and service availability. The OSMHC also provides a variety of programs on topics such as depression, anxiety, burnout, and stress management. See a list of current programs here.

Common Concerns

There are many concerns that may lead a student to seek support:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Depressed mood
  • Relationship problems
  • Difficulties adjusting to school or loneliness
  • Personal or family crisis
  • Academic concerns
  • Eating or body image concerns
  • Alcohol or drug problems
  • Identity issues
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Coping with physical illness or disability

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact:

Kelly Holder, PhD
Director, Office of Student Mental Health and Counseling
Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA
kholder@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-8658