Integrative Wellbeing Services: COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Updates to IWS Services through End of Spring, 2020 Semester

  1. Emergencies—If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency please call 911. If you have an urgent mental health concern and would like to talk with an on-call therapist, please call 413-597-2353 and select Option 2 to be connected directly to the on-call therapy service. You may also contact Campus Safety at 413-597-4444 and asked to be connected to the on-call therapist. The on-call therapist service is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week for all students on campus or off.
  2. IWS Shift to Transition Planning—Beginning April 6, 2020, the IWS team will be focused on developing an individualized transition plan for each student IWS served throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, as well as making this supportive transition planning service available to students who need assistance and have not yet accessed IWS services.

These individualized transition plans will focus on assessing levels of mental health care needed and access to needed resources to support student mental health and wellbeing throughout the Spring semester, summer, and to the beginning of the Fall, 2020 semester.

Each student IWS served this academic year (whether currently on campus or off campus) will be emailed by IWS directly between March 25 and April 1, 2020, and offered two, 30-minute transition planning sessions with their IWS therapist.  

If you are a student who would like to work with IWS on transition planning and do not receive an email—or if you have not already worked with IWS this academic year and would like to—you are welcome to email [email protected] to schedule transition planning appointments with an IWS therapist.

If you want to participate in this transition planning process with IWS and the offered appointment dates and times work, please reply to the email from your therapist and [email protected] confirming:

    • your acceptance of the appointments offered
    • the phone number where you would like to be contacted
    • whether it is acceptable for your therapist to leave a message at this number

By doing so, you also will be acknowledging your understanding of this shift of IWS role from psychotherapy offered prior to the COVID-19 break to transition planning by phone. All student contacts will be completed by phone, not video.

If the times offered to the student do not work, please email Kim and Jessica at [email protected] to request alternative appointment times.

Students will also have access to self-schedule sessions through the Student Health Portal to support the implementation of their transition plans if further assistance is needed once the two planning sessions are completed.  Please note, these self-schedule sessions are also focused solely on support with transition planning (if, for example, you encounter unexpected barriers in connecting with a local therapist).

IWS will not be providing telehealth therapy services directly during this shift to transition planning. We will focus instead on connecting all students with one of many available telehealth support options offered directly through Williams or through your own health insurance.  In part, this is to ensure that you continue to have access to needed care throughout the next five months until the Fall 2020 semester begins. Some of these available telehealth services are addressed below.

  1. Psychiatry Services—Dr. Aillon-Sohl is working directly on transition planning for students with whom she worked related to psychiatric services and medication issues.  You can email [email protected] with questions about connecting with Dr. Aillon-Sohl for these transition supports. Please reference “Psychiatry” in the subject line of your email.
  2. Telehealth Psychotherapy—Williams College offers all students Talkspace free of charge, 12 months per year, and also provides students with access to Well Connect Telehealth Services through the college’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield student health insurance policy. Both are addressed briefly below. If you have an alternative form of insurance, please use your IWS transition planning meeting to identify options available through your own insurance or contact your insurance provider directly to ask about telehealth psychotherapy options. Again, all students have access to Talkspace free of charge without going through insurance.
    • Talkspace—Williams is in the unique position to already have our tele-mental health infrastructure in place and active via Talkspace.  In addition to providing free to all students one live video psychotherapy session per month and unlimited messaging therapy five per week with a designated licensed therapist, this service is accessible to you 12 months per year, globally and in many languages.  This is especially important now as our students are spread out across the globe.
      • We strongly encourage you to utilize Talkspace during this time of transition (free to Williams students)—unlimited messaging therapy with a licensed therapist and one live video session per month.
      • You can access this service through a secure platform anywhere in the world that has internet access.
      • We also encourage you to make use of this mechanism for support during this difficult time, whether or not you’ve used IWS services historically.
      • You can register quickly and begin services immediately at www.talkspace/williamscollege and need only your Williams email address to register.
    • Well Connect (BC/BS student insurance)—Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the Williams College health insurance provider, will waive co-pays for student members with access to their telehealth platform Well Connection. Telehealth offers convenience as well as the opportunity to avoid potential exposure to contagion. It is included in the health plans of all our fully insured members and available to associates who are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts members. This service offers the ability to video conference with providers for medical care and behavioral health.
  1. COVID-19 Resources on Wellbeing and Mental Health—Students served by IWS are also being sent COVID-19 specific resources relative to wellbeing and mental health, and clinicians will review these resources with you during the transition planning calls as well. All students can access this resource page,
  2. All IWS team members are working remotely by phone for the rest of the semester and doors at Pond House will remain locked for the duration of the semester.