Mental Health Assessment and Treatment Services

Emergencies-If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency call 911 or 9-911 if calling from a campus phone. If you are experiencing an urgent psychological crisis call IWS at (413) 597-2353 and select option 2 to speak to the on-call clinician. You can also call Campus Safety and Security at (413) 597-4444 to be connected with crisis services.

During the academic year, comprehensive services are available in the following areas:

  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Self-Schedule Sessions
  • Crisis Response
  • Psychiatric Evaluation and Treatment
  • Group Psychotherapy

How We Can Help

  • IWS will be  offering a hybrid model of in-person and telehealth services. Students will be able to choose whether they see a therapist in-person or opt for telehealth services. Students will be able to communicate with their provider about the possibility of engaging in telehealth therapy. IWS will provide in-person and telehealth crisis response, individual psychotherapy, self-scheduled appointments as needed, group psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

    We remain committed to providing timely access and equitable services for all students throughout the course of the academic year. To meet this commitment and to address continued increases in requests for services, IWS offers therapy frequency based on clinical need as determined by the therapist. The majority of students working with therapists are seen every other week. Sessions are 45 minutes in length. Contact us with your availability to schedule an appointment and include “Appointment Request” in the subject line.

  • Self-Schedule sessions are supportive sessions designed for students who are unsure if they want to engage in therapy, but would like to speak with a therapist or find themselves needing support between scheduled appointments. Students can schedule 20 minute check-in appointments, which are typically conducted by phone or video, by logging into the patient portal using your email login/password. It is suggested that you use a browser other than Google Chrome, such as Safari, when accessing the patient portal. If you do not see any available appointments that work with your schedule, please contact us at 413.597.2353.

  • If you are experiencing what feels like a psychological emergency, students can schedule a same day appointment during business hours (8:30-5pm, Monday-Thursday and 8:30am-4pm, Friday) by calling IWS (413.597.2353) and asking for a crisis (urgent) session with the on-call therapist.

  • Students can connect with the on-call therapist after business hours, weekends and over breaks by calling 413.597.2353 and selecting option 2 or by calling Campus Safety and Security  (413.597.4444) and asking to speak to the on-call therapist. Students will be assisted by a trained clinician with expertise in student crisis counseling and assessment.

  • Dr. Lesley Brodie provides psychiatristic treatment to students. Psychiatric services include psychopharmacological evaluation and management for a range of mental health issues, including: Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder,, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Psychotic Disorders. If psychotherapy is indicated, pyschiatrists will, in most cases, refer individuals to counselors at IWS. If more intensive treatment is necessary, students may be referred to therapists in the community. Contact IWS to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist and include “Appointment Request” in the subject line.

  • What is it?
    Attention deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder also known as ADHD or ADD is a neurodevelopmental condition. It is typically characterized by symptoms of inattention and impulsivity/hyperactivity to a degree that is inconsistent with a person’s developmental level. Although usually diagnosed in childhood, often before the age of 12 years old, ADHD symptoms persist into adulthood in many patients and are associated with functional impairment and increased risk of depression, substance abuse, and antisocial behavior. How does it present?
    The clinical presentation of ADHD is varied, with three subtypes identified according to the most prevalent symptoms (primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive/impulsive, and combined). ADHD is associated with a range of cognitive impairments in inhibitory control and executive function that presents consistently across all contexts for the individual (i.e. at school, work, during recreation, etc.).

    What other conditions may be mistaken for ADHD?

    There are many conditions that can mimic the symptoms of ADHD. Some examples include:

    • Sleep problems: Individuals who are not getting sufficient hours of sleep whether due to insomnia or self-imposed sleep limits have cognitive impairments (Johnson, 2022) that mimic ADHD, but that resolve once that individual has restored their sleep schedule.
    • Marijuana or Other Substance Use: Regular cannabis use, whether smoked or as edibles, can lead to significant issues with neurocognitive function including impaired short-term memory and inattention (Volkow ND, 2014). A small study from 2015 demonstrates increased impulsivity on the day of use and the day after use as compared to days on not using (Ansell EB, 2015). Once an individual has stopped their use, they are once again able to focus and be attentive when needed.
    • Impact of screens: Emerging research on the effects of electronics, screens, and our frequent digital notifications is adversely impacting our capacity for attention.
    • High demand, high stress environments: Individuals whose cognitive demands overwhelm their cognitive resources may experience difficulties with organization, task completion, or decline in other executive functions (Sibley, 2021). These difficulties also occur for individuals who have experienced chronic stress, and although similar in presentation are not the result of ADHD.
    • Depression, Anxiety, PTSD: The cognitive impairments caused by depression and anxiety are sometimes mistaken for ADHD by both the individual experiencing it, and family or friends. The symptoms resolve when the correct diagnosis is treated.
    • Concussion or other Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): symptoms may include inattention, memory problems, and executive function impairment.
    • Other Medical Causes: Some medical conditions can cause cognitive impairment such as hypothyroid, and myalgic encephalomyelitis, and post-covid syndrome (also known as ‘long covid’).

    How is ADHD Diagnosed?
    An accurate diagnosis of ADHD is typically made via an in-depth clinical interview accompanied by information provided by others who know the individual well. The interview and supplemental information are used to establish: the presence and severity of required symptoms; the timeline of symptoms; that symptoms are present across multiple contexts; that the symptoms cause meaningful impairment; and that there is no other condition or disorder that better explains the symptoms or may be the cause of their symptoms. ADHD is not diagnosed by self-report, or the completion of online rating scales alone.

    For college students who have no previous history of ADHD, and who are away from people who could provide the most helpful observations, typically the most accurate way to evaluate for ADHD is neuropsychological testing. This involves a number of validated psychological and neuropsychological tests, given by a neuropsychologist. Based on these tests, the neuropsychologist can evaluate multiple aspects of cognitive function such as executive functioning, processing speed, memory (short and long-term), inhibitory control, and IQ and make diagnosis and relevant recommendations.

    How is ADHD treated?
    Treatment of ADHD can involve a combination of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions. Pharmacological treatment may include the use of stimulant medications. Nonpharmacological interventions include behavioral interventions such as managing sleep and exercise, incorporating specific strategies to manage ADHD symptoms into a person’s daily life, and sometimes the use of academic accommodations to allow an individual to fully access their education. Where can I get more information?
    Russell Barkley ADHD information and books website
    CHADD website
    CHADD ADHD Information Library
    AACAP ADHD Resource Center
    American Psychiatric Association ADHD Information

    A variety of Groups, Workshops and Skills Building Sessions are offered each semester on various topics, some of which are conducted as “drop-in events” over the course of the semester, while others series of sessions that require prior commitment and/or pre-registration. View our calendar of events for more details.

TalkSpace: Online Messaging, Telehealth and Psychiatry Services

  • Williams has partnered with TalkSpace to offer free therapeutic and psychiatric services to enrolled students.  TalkSpace is a HIPAA compliant, mobile app/web-based unlimited messaging therapy option, which also includes four, 30 minute live video sessions a month. It may be used year-round, on or off campus. TalkSpace communication is confidential and secure. Register using your Williams email address.

  • TalkSpace also provides free psychiatric medication management and treatment services. All enrolled students can now schedule live telehealth appointments with a psychiatric prescriber for medication consultations, ongoing medication management and psychiatric treatment. These appointments are at no cost to students and the wait time to first appointment is generally one (1) week or less.  Students can access TalkSpace Psychiatry by registering using their Williams email address and the key word: TSPlus.

Accessing Mental Health Services Off Campus