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Student Counseling Services

Office Hours for Administrative Assistant
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 508-856-3220   Fax: 508-856-3036
E-mail: Student Counseling Services


In the event of an EMERGENCY at any time, new and established patients can call Emergency Mental Health (EMH) at 508-856-3562your local ER or 911. Or you can go directly to EMH (located in the Emergency Department on the University Campus) or your local ER.

Our thoughts go to every member of our community in this time. Students have been affected by changes to research projects, academic life, and by the difficulty of watching their teachers, mentors, and sometimes family and friends serve on the front lines of health care. Some students may even be serving themselves. Yet in our interactions with you over this time, we here at Student Counseling (SCS) have been impressed by your forbearance and graciousness in your interactions with us.

In order for SCS to support recently instituted public health measures, we will move to fully telehealth services going forward during this outbreak. All our clinicians and our administrative assistant will now be working completely remotely.

We wanted to clarify procedures and policies to help you maintain your mental health (MH) care with us. Please let us know if you have questions, and know we always listen.

For non-emergency issues for Worcester SOM and all GSN & GSBS students: 

Email is the best way of getting hold of us, which we will check each business day (M-F, 8:30AM – 5:00PM) When emailing us: always copy the SCS mailbox

We ask that you refrain from calling SCS by phone while we are away from the office, as email gets through to us much more readily (If you have any questions about emailing, please speak to your clinician)

  • To schedule follow-up appointments for either therapy or medication management:
    • Please email your clinician at their “” address below (& copy
      • Dr. Ruthann Rizzi, MD
      • Dr. Phoebe Moore, PhD
      • Dr. Ashley Hart, PhD  
      • Dr. Abita Raj, MD      
      • Dr. Erin Tangney, PhD
      • Dr. Yashira Oropeza-Diaz, PsyD
      • Dr. Elizabeth Austin, PsyD
      • Rachel Lerner            
      • Setareh Rossman      
    • We will get back to you with an appointment time, and a Zoom invitation with instructions


For routine medication refills that you do not feel need a visit, please send us your request at least 4 days before you need the refill.

We will attend to routine medication refills during our drop-in clinic times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. (As a reminder, Drop-in Clinic hours are Mondays 10:00AM – 11:00AM with Dr. Rizzi, Wednesdays 3:00PM – 4:30PM with Dr. Rizzi, and Fridays 3:00PM – 4:00PM with Dr. Raj)

Please email your MD (& copy with “refill request” in the subject line, and a sentence or two in the body of the email letting us know how you are doing; it is very helpful to know if you are feeling well (and just need a refill 😊)

▪ Also include the name of your medication, tablet size, dosing instructions, # tabs you are requesting, and the name & address of the pharmacy you want us to send it to.

But if you are not doing well and need to discuss your medication with us, please follow the instructions above to make a video appointment with us instead.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Please do NOT request your SCS medication refills through MyChart. This is a separate system from your SCS electronic medical record chart, therefore, the request does not reach your SCS clinician.

For new patients  who are contacting us for the first time with non-emergent issues during business hours

o Please send an email to our SCS mailbox: and we will arrange a video intake visit with the first available clinician

FOR ALL STUDENTS: In the event of an EMERGENCY at any time, new and established patients can call Emergency Mental Health (EMH) at 508-856-3562, your local ER or 911.


We want to thank you for your commitment to your career and this community. We are working very hard on keeping our services to the best of our capacity and want to give you some updates about the services available to you. Here are some of the changes we will be making in the meantime.

Dr. Yashira Oropeza-Diaz will offer teletherapy through Zoom during her regular hours (Monday-Tuesday 8am-6pm; and Wednesday 8am-2pm)

  • Please email to schedule an appointment
  • Additionally, Dr Oropeza-Diaz will be available during her private practice hours if those times work best for you. For this option you will have to contact her directly (call or text) at 860-987-2482 to schedule an appointment.

Drs. Rizzi and Raj will continue to be available to manage your MH medication needs. Please see the medication refills section above for instructions. o We will continue to coordinate your dual care (therapy and medication).

Be sure to check the SCS website for important announcements to the clinic schedule:


General Office Information

What is SCS?
What Is Follow-up Clinic?
Prescription Refill Requests
Mental Health Emergencies

THE STUDENT COUNSELING SERVICES (SCS) provides counseling, psychotherapy, assistance with stress management, and educational programs on emotional well being for graduate, medical, and nursing students. People come to SCS seeking personal growth and greater self-understanding, as well as healthier psychological functioning. Many students using the service are people who want to cope more effectively with difficult or stressful academic situations, while others seek counseling to deal with broader life issues. Some students come because of more serious, troublesome, and/or chronic difficulties in their lives.  

While short-term counseling is most common, it is possible, when time permits, for students to be seen for an extended period. Medication is prescribed and monitored as needed, on a case by case basis.  The costs for our services are covered by the prepaid Student Health Plan fee; there is no additional charge for students using SCS.  Appointments are scheduled weekdays Monday through Thursday with some evening availability. 

To provide the best possible services to the greatest number of students, we ask students to give us 24 hours notice if they need to cancel an appointment, as our counseling services are in very high demand.  This will enable us to offer the appointment to another student. If someone cancels three times, with less than 24 hours notice within a three month period, we will be unable to continue to schedule regular appointments. Instead, we will offer cancellation openings when available in a clinician’s schedule.  Drop in Clinic will remain available as noted below.

The Student Counseling Services maintains strict standards of privacy and confidentiality. Counseling records are kept separately from students' general medical records. No information about a student's contact with the service or information obtained in counseling is released to anyone outside the counseling service staff, including school or hospital administration, faculty, family, or other students, without the knowledge and written consent of the student, unless required by law or in the rare instance of an emergency situation involving someone's safety.
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The Student Counseling Services is located in Room # S1-160.  Enter the double doors to Suite S1-130 and follow the signage to Student Counseling Services (Suite S1-160). There is an alternate entrance at the exterior of the building located at the north-east side of the Basic Wing accessible from the North Parking Lot.
To schedule an appointment with a clinician on the Student Counseling Services, please call: 508-856-3220 or  E-mail:  
Student Counseling Services


Ruthann Rizzi, MD

Mondays (Patient appts - includes evening hours - and Follow-up Care Clinic) 
  Follow-up Care Clinic
     10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Wednesdays (Afternoon patient appts and Follow-up Care Clinic) 
  Follow-up Care Clinic
     3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Phoebe Moore, PhD
Associate Director

Mondays, Wednesdays
Thursdays (includes evening hours)

Ashley Hart, PhD

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays

Erin Tangney, PhD
(née Lenz)

Thursdays (includes evening hours)

Abita Raj, MD

*Fridays (Patient appts - and - Follow-up Care Clinic)
  Follow-up Care Clinic
     3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Yashira Oropeza-Diaz, PsyD

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays (Patient appts in Worcester)
Mondays (Evening Hours in Springfield)

Elizabeth Austin, PsyD

Tuesdays (includes evening hours) and alternate Saturdays

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Follow-up Clinic Hours with Dr. Rizzi and Dr. Raj
Please see updated chart above. 


For a complete listing of Follow-up times, see the listing above.

Established patients (patients who have already had an evaluation and are currently being seen in SCS) will be seen by Dr. Rizzi for uncomplicated medication refills or other quick needs. No appointment is necessary, but early arrival is recommended as students will be seen on a first come, first served basis.

Follow-up Clinic is not meant to replace psychotherapy visits, nor should it supplant medication appointments when deeper discussions are needed. As always, students new to the clinic or any student with a mental health emergency should contact the service directly. More detailed instructions are given below.

Prescription Refill Requests:

Please be mindful of when your prescriptions will be running out and plan to come to Follow-up Clinic for a new prescription. Dr. Rizzi is in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays only, so prescription refill requests must be addressed on those days. Being seen in person is the best and most efficient option. If you cannot make Follow-up Clinic, please contact our office by phone at 508-856-3220 or email at to schedule an appointment. If you are unable to come into SCS due to extenuating circumstances, urgent prescription refill requests must be received by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday as we require 48 hours to fulfill any non-office visit requests. Thank you.

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If a mental health emergency arises:

Please try to call our office first at 508-856-3220.
Outside Business hours please call Emergency Mental Health at 508-856-3562 and ask to have the covering clinician paged.

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Alan Brown, M.D., Vice Chair of Integrated Care and Population Health, Psychiatry Department & Associate Medical Director, Office of Clinical Behavioral Integration
Ruthann Rizzi, M.D., Director, SCS
Phoebe Moore, Ph.D., Associate Director, SCS
Kathleen McNamara, Administrative Assistant

Ashley Hart, Ph.D.
Erin Tangney, Ph.D. (née Lenz)
Abita Raj, MD

Yashira Oropeza-Diaz, Psy.D.

Elizabeth Austin, Psy.D.


Student Affairs


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