EVMS Student Mental Health (SMH) Program

SMH Clinicians:

  • Richard Handel, Ph.D., Professor, Co-Director
  • Kathrin Hartmann, Ph.D., Professor, Co-Director


EVMS Student Mental Health (SMH) services are provided by two full-time EVMS faculty members in EVMS Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  Both providers are licensed, doctoral-level clinical psychologists with extensive experience in evaluation and treatment. We are here to help students with their personal concerns so that they can meet the challenges of student life.

Basic Program Overview:

EVMS Student Mental Health (SMH) offers evaluations, consultation, and short-term psychotherapy (i.e., counseling) to all full-time EVMS students and their spouses. Our program is located in EVMS Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 7th Floor, Hofheimer Hall.  SMH services are covered by student fees and are entirely separate from your insurance benefits.  No charges are submitted to your insurance provider when you seek services under the SMH program. Generally, the number of SMH sessions available to a student or his or her spouse is limited to five visits per year. EVMS SMH clinicians have no involvement in academic evaluations of clients under their care.

Detailed Description of Services:

As noted, SMH provides evaluations, consultation, and brief psychotherapy (i.e., counseling) for students and their spouses. The first appointment with an SMH clinician consists of an evaluation during which the client’s presenting concerns and additional background information are collected. The initial appointment generally lasts for about one hour. Depending upon the presenting problem, at the end of this initial evaluation, a client will either be scheduled for short-term treatment through SMH or referred to appropriate resources in the community for longer-term or specialized (e.g., a neuropsychological evaluation for ADHD) services. A list of resources will be provided to enhance the likelihood of coverage by your health insurance plan. Students are encouraged to consider coverage when choosing a provider. 

Short-term treatment:

Sessions for short-term psychotherapy are scheduled in advance. Please note that we do not offer walk-in appointments.

Although the following list is not all inclusive, some common problems that may benefit from short-term treatment include:

  • adjusting to the demands of your academic program
  • anxiety (e.g., test taking, social)
  • balancing the demands of school and other aspects of your life
  • coping with mild depression
  • creating a healthy lifestyle
  • dealing with relationship issues

Long-term treatment:

Because SMH offers evaluations, consultation, and brief psychotherapy, long-term treatment options are not available through SMH. When a client may benefit from long-term care, SMH clinicians will provide a referral for services in the community. In this case, the client would use his or her insurance benefits.  If a client has the school’s health insurance (i.e., United Health Care), SMH clinicians are authorized to put in a referral for treatment to be administered by a provider in the community. Referrals to community providers are primarily made for long-term psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluation and medication management, or both services. Please note that SMH clinicians do not provide evaluations for learning disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In these cases, we refer to providers outside of the SMH program. Also, you should be aware that evaluations for these types of problems may or may not be covered by your insurance plan.

Emergency Situations and Crisis Intervention:

If you are in a crisis situation that may be life-threatening (e.g., if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts with an active intent to harm yourself), do not attempt to schedule an appointment with SMH.  In this type of situation, proceed immediately to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

The EVMS Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences also offers an on-call service for emergencies that may occur outside of normal business hours. This service may be accessed through the department’s main number (757) 446-5888.  Please note that this service is for emergencies only (i.e., to evaluate the need for possible hospitalization). 

For a student or spouse in a crisis situation that is not life-threatening, an SMH clinician will see the student within 48 hours (not counting weekends or holidays) of his or her first contact with our clinic (most often, the student will be seen the same day). 


EVMS SMH clinicians have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect clients’ confidentiality. Personal information that a client shares with an SMH clinician is confidential unless one or more of the following exceptions apply:

  1. The client signs a form authorizing release of his or her records.
  2. The client reports an active intent to harm himself or herself or is deemed to be a danger to himself or herself or others.
  3. The client reports abuse of a child or incompetent adult.
  4. Disclosure is required by Federal, State, or Local law or judicial proceedings.

All health services provided at EVMS are scheduled and documented using an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. All activities of EHR users are monitored and recorded to ensure that no EVMS or EVMS Medical Group policies regarding the protection of your personal information are violated. The EVMS Medical Group HIPAA Privacy Policy further describes how your information may be used or disclosed. Please note that elements of this policy (e.g., insurance billing) are not applicable to SMH services. Please carefully review this policy at the link below:



Protocol for Care:

  1. Please call the EVMS Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at (757) 446-5888 and select option 3 for Student Mental Health between 8:00 A.M.  and 6:00 P.M. Monday through Friday to schedule an initial appointment.
  3. If you have questions about the Student Mental Health Program, please e-mail Dr. Handel at handelrw@evms.edu or Dr. Hartmann at hartmank@evms.edu. Alternatively, you may reach us by phone at 757.446.5888.


Outside Crisis Hotlines:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline     1-800-273-8255

Contact Lifeline     1-800-262-9800