Student Mental Health & Counseling

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.

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.


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.

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

Students can schedule appointments directly with the provider.  Students have a choice of working with Dr. Kelly Holder (psychologist) or Dr. Martha Paeslee-Levine (a psychiatrist).

Kelly Holder, Ph.D.

Martha Peaslee-Levine, MD

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.

Additional mental health service are available for student through Dr. Steve Sinderman in the Department of Psychiatry. These services are not part of the OSMHC, and therefore, are not free.

Students are encouraged to ask about cost and insurance when making an appointment. Dr. Sinderman can be reached by calling 717-531-8338.

You can also find mental health providers covered by Aetna Student Health Insurance not affiliated with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

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 ( if you would to make an appointment in the Office of Student Mental Health and Counseling to discuss your results.


If you have any questions, please contact

Kelly Holder, PhD
Director, Office of Student Mental Health and Counseling