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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 Appeal

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

Students that missed the waiver deadline may file for a one-time appeal by December 6, 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.

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-Thursday

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, works at SVA Monday-Tuesday and Friday

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

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

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.

Huilin Lai
Therapist, works at SVA on Monday

Huilin returns for the Fall 2018 semester. She practices integrative therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Acceptance and commitment therapy, Solution Focused, mindfulness based, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Life Coaching, as well as family/marital therapy. She came to the United States ten years ago as an international student herself. She deeply understands the challenges in the international community. She’s fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and English.

Navah Steiner, LCAT 
Therapist, works at SVA Monday and Friday

Navah Steiner returns for the Fall 2018 semester. She is a psychotherapist with a license in creative arts therapy and certifications in psychodynamic psychotherapy, family therapy and drama therapy.

Dr. Monica Michell

Psychiatrist, limited availability on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

NOTE: Student must have an intake appointment with a Therapist before a Psychiatrist appointment is requested/scheduled.

Dr. Monica Michell started at SVA in 2018. She has had a lifelong interest in the workings of the mind and human development. She majored in psychology at Vassar College, received her MD at New York Medical College and did her psychiatry residency at NYU. She subsequently received psychoanalytic training at NYU. She has worked with college students, adults, adolescents and kids for over twenty years. She is on the faculty of the NYU department of psychiatry and the psychoanalytic institute. 

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 Wednesday, 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