Fall 2020 Guide on Returning to Campus

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  • All mental health services (both IWS and Talkspace) are being offered via distance methods. IWS will offer therapy via video or phone. Talkspace will provide live video, as well as video/audio/text messaging. (telehealth video and phone – IWS; live video and video, audio and text messaging – Talkspace.)

    State laws require that for psychotherapy services clinicians are licensed in the state in which the client is residing. For the 2020-2021 academic year, all students returning to campus can access psychotherapy services through IWS or Talkspace, while students studying remotely who pursue psychotherapy will access Talkspace. All students (whether on campus or remote) can participate in IWS psychoeducation groups, workshops and supportive offerings.

    Williams expanded the Talkspace offerings to include 4 live video sessions with the student’s licensed therapist per month (weekly sessions) in addition to unlimited messaging services. All students, whether studying on campus or remotely, will have access to IWS practice and psychoeducational group offerings, workshops and supportive offerings (a schedule of these groups and offerings will be posted on the IWS website as the semester begins). Beginning August 1, 2020, students can register for Talkspace and begin services immediately. You need only your Williams email to register.

    For students on campus, IWS will provide crisis response, individual and group psychotherapy, psychoeducational and practice groups (all students), psychiatric evaluation and treatment. All of these offerings will be provided remotely via videoconferencing or phone. IWS will also continue to provide psychiatric services to students on campus. Dr. Aillon-Sohl is a Diplomat of the Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and certified in Adult Psychiatry. Dr. Aillon-Sohl has provided psychiatric services to Williams College students since 2014 and she will continue to provide this service via telemedicine until the current public health circumstances allow for a return to in-person assessments. State licensing laws prohibit Dr. Aillon-Sohl from providing services to students outside of Massachusetts, however, Dr. Aillon-Sohl and the IWS team can assist students in locating a psychiatrist in the student’s home state via student health insurance as needed. Dr. Aillon-Sohl can provide adult psychiatric assessment and medication treatment management for most psychiatric conditions, including: Depression, Anxiety & Panic Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Psychotic Disorders. While Dr. Aillon-Sohl does provide some basic supportive therapy and can teach some basic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques during appointments, the primary focus is on psychiatric medication management. During your course of treatment with Dr. Aillon-Sohl, she may recommend individual psychotherapy with your own dedicated therapist.

    Dr. Aillon-Sohl will not be able to provide new treatment with a controlled substance via telepsychiatry given the constraints of federal law. Federal law (Ryan Haight Act) prohibits prescribing of any controlled medications (benzodiazepines, ADHD stimulants, and some sleep medications) over telemedicine without an in-person yearly assessment. If Dr. Aillon-Sohl had previously prescribed one of these medications to an established patient, and the current public health circumstances allow for an annual in-person assessment, then it may be possible for this treatment to continue. If this is not possible, Dr. Aillon-Sohl will work with you to identify a new provider. Additionally, some conditions require a higher level of care than can be safely provided via telepsychiatry, such as: actively having thoughts or urges to self-harm or attempt suicide, actively having thoughts or urges to harm someone else, eating disorders (anorexia, binging/purging), alcohol or drug addiction/abuse and any other condition or set of symptoms deemed by Dr. Aillon-Sohl at any point to be severe enough to need a higher level of care.

    For on-campus students seeking to make an appointment with an IWS therapist, email [email protected] subject line – “Appointment Request” to Kim Tremblay or Jessica Russell. If you have a preference about which IWS therapist you are placed with, please let IWS know and they will do their best to accommodate your requests. The IWS staff is a multidisciplinary, diverse group of clinicians with broad experiences and training treating a wide range of issues. Students can also self-schedule their own appointments via the patient portal at health.williams.edu. Once you log in, look for IWS Self Schedule sessions and you can select a time and clinician based on availability. In addition to scheduled appointments, on-call crisis services are available to students 24/7 throughout the semester by calling 413-597-2353 and selecting option 2 or calling campus safety at 4444 and requesting the therapist on call.

    Students enrolled on campus and students enrolled remotely are eligible to meet with a therapist for live sessions (4 times per month), or engage in unlimited messaging, via Talkspace. If you are interested in being matched with a therapist of a specific identity, language or other factor, you can speak with a Talkspace support representative who will assist you in finding a therapist to suit your needs.

    If you are unsure of what kind of support you need, whether on campus or off, please email iws​@williams​.edu and request an appointment for a meeting with a therapist so we can help you assess your needs and select appropriate options.

  • Students have access to mental health support though Integrative Wellbeing Services (IWS) and Talkspace. During the initial quarantine, students have access immediately to live video therapy sessions via Talkspace and after hours emergency support by calling 413-597-2353 and selecting Option 2. IWS will begin scheduling initial assessments the week of 8/31. Psychiatry services and IWS psychotherapy services will begin in September with the start of classes. A detailed overview of services and information on scheduling and other FAQs can be found here.

    In addition, the IWS team is creating a program that runs 8/25-9/4, A Connected Quarantine, specifically for students completing their required in room period. Each afternoon from 1-4 p.m. students are invited to connect with members of the IWS team via zoom links that will be provided on Monday 8/24. With a goal of offering students a Connected Quarantine, these live zoom sessions provide students a way to connect with IWS and each other while needing to stay in room. These will include, but not be limited to: workshops on managing this transition; healthy responses to stress; tips for sleep and healthy self care; managing loneliness; as well as creative practices like mindfulness, use of music, art and more. There will be invitations to engage and even to play, while honoring the challenges of this time. Please watch for the details to come out on the IWS website on Monday 8/24