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Student Health & counseling

Incoming Students

SVA Student Health Form

This form is required of all incoming/accepted students that want to enroll in classes at SVA. 

Download PDF 

Students can complete the top half of the form and Step 1-Meningitis Response; a clinician / health care provider must complete Step 2-Measles, Mumps, Rubella*

*We will also accept a copy of a student's health records displaying proof of MMR (2) Measles, (1)  Mumps and (1)Rubella vaccinations in place of Step 2. Students who attended a SVA Pre-College cours eand previously submitted the health form or obtained a BFA from SVA do not need to re-submit this form. Contact [email protected] to inquire.

The New York State Department of Health Immunization Program has the legal authority to ensure that schools throughout the state comply with PHL Sections 2165 and 2167No institution shall permit any student to attend such institution in excess of thirty days without complying.

Please e-mail the completed form to [email protected] or fax it to 212.592.2216.

Student Health Insurance

All students are automatically enrolled and billed for the SVA-sponsored insurance plan, Cigna PPO

Students who have their own comparable health insurance plan outside of SVA need to remove the health insurance fee ($1,155 per semester) every Fall semester. This fee is located on your tuition bill, and it may only be removed online  (please note that requesting to waive the insurance over the phone or in-person does NOT remove the insurance fee).

The waiver deadline is October 2 2018 and the Online Waiver Form is at sva.edu/uhp.

Fall 2018 Health Insurance Information and Waiver

Download your 2018-2019 Cigna health insurance card

Review directions on how to download the card.

Download your insurance card

Removing the SVA health insurance fee for Fall 2018

New and returning students that have a comparable health insurance plan need to remove the SVA health insurance fee by October 2, 2018

Removing the insurance can only be completed online.

Online Insurance Fee Waiver

Current Students

FREE & Confidential Counseling Services at SVA

Free-of-charge short-term therapy services are confidential and provided at our office (340 East 24th Street, 1st floor). 

Our office hours are 9 AM-5 PM, Monday-Friday. Students may call 212.592.2246, e-mail [email protected] or stop by our office to request an appointment.

Summer counseling services are available for SVA students who meet the following criteria:

-They are enrolled in Fall 2018 classes and are currently students at SVA or 
-They are enrolled in summer classes and/or are living in the SVA residence halls. 

If you’d like to speak to a non-SVA counselor during non-business hours, you can text HOME to 741-741 (www.crisistextline.org) or text WELL to 65173 (NYC WELL) or call 1-888-NYC-WELL to speak with a counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Medical services are NOT available at our office

Please review the Map of Medical Facilities to locate an Urgent Walk-In clinic or hospital.

Map of SVA buildings

Student Health Insurance - Download Card

All students are automatically enrolled and billed for the SVA-sponsored insurance plan, Cigna PPO

Community of Mental Health Resources

A list of therapists and psychiatrists outside of SVA.

Medical Leave

Physician's Verification of Medical Condition Form: Students Leaving SVA for Medical Reasons 

Students that take a Medical Leave of Absence from SVA must submit this completed form to Student Health and Counseling Services no later than 30 days from the date of withdrawal for tuition consideration. 

Certificate Of Readiness Form: Students Returning to SVA from a medical Leave  

Students that took a Medical of Absence from SVA and want to request a return must submit this completed form to Student Health and Counseling Services at least 1-2 months from the date of the anticipated semester's start.

Former Students

Immunization Record Release Form

Students may request their immunization records (the SVA Student Health Form that was sent to our office to enroll in classes) by completing this form. 

Community of Mental Health Resources

A list of therapists and psychiatrists outside of SVA.
Meet Our Staff

Christine Gilchrist, MSN, MPH, RN, NC-BC
Associate Director, works at SVA Monday-Friday

Black and white photo of woman smiling

Christine has been at SVA since 2002. She is an integrative nurse; using a whole person/whole system approach to caring for others. She was a sexual health peer educator in college; majoring in Nursing and minoring in Women's Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her graduate degrees are in Community Health Nursing and Urban Public Health with a focus on Community Health Education. Christine is a board certified nurse coach, working with SVA students on setting and achieving wellness goals. She also teaches mind/body techniques such as breathing and meditation for stress management.

Mark Howell, PhD, LCSW
Therapist, will return to SVA in the Fall semester
Black and white photo of man outside sitting on bench 

Dr. Howell has been at SVA since 2003. He earned a BFA from Parsons, worked at several notable galleries, and hung out in East Village dives with various artists including famed SVA student Keith Haring.

Arielle Kempler, LMSW 
Therapist, works at SVA Monday-Friday

Black and white selfie of woman smiling

Arielle is a full-time psychotherapist who joined SVA in 2018. She specializes in trauma therapy and has previous experience working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She approaches therapy with a trauma perspective and integrates theories such as Internal Family Systems theory (IFS) and somatic experiencing in her work. She also uses techniques that connect the mind and body such as mindfulness and deep breathing to help target anxiety. Her practice focuses on helping clients overcome barriers in their lives that prevent them from feeling in control and achieving their goals.

Brett Sharetts, LMSW 
Therapist, works at SVA Monday-Friday

Black and white photo of smiling man standing outside

Brett is a full-time psychotherapist who joined SVA in 2018. He approaches therapy with a modern psychodynamic perspective, integrating theories from psychoanalysis, CBT, and mindfulness based practices. His goal is to help clients understand their own process and unconscious motivations as they strive to live fuller, richer, more meaningful lives.

Jennifer Wilson, MA, LCAT
Therapist, works at SVA Monday-Friday

Black and white photo of woman wearing glasses and necklace smiling

Jennifer has been at SVA since 2014. She practices integrative therapy, combining supportive, cognitive and psychodynamic therapeutic approaches along with mindfulness and creativity to support students in feeling healthy, balanced and successful in school and in life. She is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (or LCAT) and has a history in both visual and performing arts.
 She works Monday-Friday.

Matt Lee
Coordinator, works at SVA Monday-Friday
Matt has been at SVA since 2015. He schedules appointments for SVA students, processes immunization forms and manages student health insurance requests.

Starr Callahan

Student Worker, works at SVA Thursday and Friday

Health insurance resources for graduating students

SVA CLASS OF 2018: The 2017-2018 SVA sponsored student health insurance plan Cigna PPO expired on August 24, 2018.

Other resources

The following information is not intended to be exhaustive of all health plans available, nor should it be regarded as a recommendation or endorsement of the health plans by SVA Student Health & Counseling Services. Contact the companies directly for more information.

SVA Alumni Health Insurance Exchange – affordable health insurance programs from JLBG Health:


Artists' Health Insurance Resource Center


New York State of Health Marketplace


NY State Essential Plan


Freelancers Unionavailable to independent workers/freelancers in 30 states – review the following link for more information and eligibility requirements:


International Students - OPT

• International Student Organization: http://www.isoa.org

Coverage for students living or studying abroad for longer than one year:


Students with J1 and F1 visas (even in OPT) you may review the Student Secure plan:


If you are a student with dependents there is also a plan called the Atlas Travel:


Free emotional support

Confidential emotional support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - you can text HOME to 741-741

(www.crisistextline.org) or call 1-888-NYC-WELL (or text WELL to 65173).

What to expect from therapy?

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587