Director: Richard W. Handel, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist


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/partners. Our program is located in the Student Health Clinic, 2nd Floor, Andrews Hall. For students located in Virginia, services are also available through telehealth.  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/partner is limited to seven 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/partners. The first appointment with SMH 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 services (e.g., a neuropsychological evaluation). Students are encouraged to consider coverage when choosing a provider. 

Short-Term Treatment:

Sessions for short-term psychotherapy are scheduled in advance. Although walk-in appointments cannot be guaranteed due to the time-intensive nature of individual evaluations and psychotherapy, SMH can sometimes offer appointments on the same day depending on schedule availability.

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 will provide a referral for services in the community. In this case, the client would use his or her insurance benefits. Referrals to community providers are primarily made for long-term psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluation and medication management, or both services. Please note that SMH does not provide evaluations for learning disorders or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

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.

For a student or spouse/partner in a crisis situation that is not life-threatening, SMH will see the individual within 48 hours of his or her first contact the clinic whenever possible.


EVMS SMH has a legal and ethical responsibility to protect clients’ confidentiality. Personal information that a client shares with SMH 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 the policy.

Scheduling an Appointment:

Please call the EVMS Student Health Clinic at 757.446.5700 between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday to schedule an initial appointment. The EVMS Student Health Clinic is located on the 2nd Floor of Andrews Hall in Suite #274.

Outside Crisis Hotlines:

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Call or text 988 or chat

Contact Lifeline 1.800.262.9800

YWCA Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline 757.251.0144

Alcohol and Narcotics Help Line 757.480.5210

Crisis Text Hotline