Medical Student Assistance Program
The Medical Student Assistance Program (MSAP) is a committee comprised of dedicated, caring professionals who are available to support students during difficult times. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, other mental health challenges, or just need guidance on resources or referrals, please reach out for support by emailing one of the members listed below. MSAP prioritizes your privacy and is completely voluntary. Our one and only aim is to encourage and support our students’ pursuit of wellness.
Click on a topic to go to details about it below
- We assist students in managing the stressors of everyday life that can sometimes become overwhelming.
- We support the recovery of students experiencing impairment from mental health conditions or substance use.
- We work to dispel myths and misinformation and to mitigate shame and stigma associated with seeking help for mental health concerns and conditions.
- We are motivated by humanitarian concerns.
- We promote wellness and recovery rather than judgment and blame.
- We believe that symptoms of stress, mental health conditions and substance use should be treated rather than punished.
- We affirm that seeking mental health treatment demonstrates good insight, judgment and personal strength -- all of which are attributes of successful physicians.
- 98% of students who engage with MSAP do so because it is a safe space in which they can receive feedback and guidance and create a plan to move forward during a difficult time of their lives.
- This service is tailored to meet the needs of the individual student; students will often engage for brief periods and then disengage when they have the necessary perspective on their situation and are doing well again.
- Examples of instances in which students have found MSAP helpful include the end of a romantic relationship, the death of a loved one or friend, academic difficulty, professionalism issues, loneliness, depression and anxiety.
The Medical Student Assistance Program does not diagnose students or provide mental health treatment. We provide supportive services and referrals for treatment providers.
- 2% of students who engage with MSAP do so either by self-referral or referral from the Committee on Student Progress regarding potential impairment issues. Past impairment cases have included issues such as substance use and abuse, disordered eating and exercising, gambling and gaming addictions and debilitating symptoms resulting from other conditions.
- Upon engagement, students will meet with most or all of the committee to discuss the potential impairment issues. Students will receive a structured approach to finding a mental health professional with whom they can pursue diagnosis and, if applicable, treatment recommendations.
- MSAP will typically meet with students during the course of their treatment and recovery to provide support, make recommendations and coordinate student assistance with other Heritage College units and services and to track progress toward recovery.
MSAP welcomes discussions about services provided, referrals and wellness.
Chair: Joe Bianco, Ph.D. (Athens)
Members at Large:
Andrea Brunson, M.A. (Dublin)
Sarah Gaskell, Ph.D. (Dublin)
Leslie Consitt, Ph.D. (Athens)
Kelly Coon, D.O. (Athens)
Mark Loudin, B.S. (Athens)
Nick (Shigeru) Okada, Ph.D. (Athens)
Rachel Moore, M.Ed. (Cleveland)
- Resources, courses and community for dealing with communication, grief and loss, disordered eating, OCD, trauma, relationships, depression, anxiety and stress
Check your local campus weekly digest for information on how to access counseling resources.
- Dublin and Cleveland: Syntero
- Athens: Ohio University Counseling and Psychological Services