Student Mental Health Policy

The study of osteopathic medicine and other programs offered at CHSU, while rewarding, can also be challenging and stressful. California Health Sciences University is committed to providing its students with access to a system of counseling and mental healthcare. Students are taught healthy stress management and life balance skills early in the medical curriculum and  students are encouraged to seek mental health assistance whenever necessary.

Counseling Services are available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a confidential manner through a combination of services which include on-site counseling services,  AetnaSAP,  and also an external Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a clinical psychologist.

CHSU Behavioral Health Services

General counseling services are offered to CHSU students from an on-site licensed therapist. The therapist is free to all CHSU students and provides confidential counseling services to students and families. Information relating to CHSU counseling support is made available to student through the website as well as the student handbook.

Students needing to set up an appointment to the counselor can do so by:

  • Scheduling an appointment online at
  • Calling the Behavioral Health Specialist phone number (559-546-6019) or confidentially email the CHSU BHS Lisa James LMFT at
  • Leaving a voicemail or email providing name, callback number, reason for calling or emailing and a good time during the day for reaching out.

Reminder: In case of emergency, and/or the eminent threat of harm to self or others, call 911 for immediate assistance.

24 x 7 Counseling Services

Aetna SAP is a Student Assistance Program which provides confidential and professional guidance. Student can call Aetna SAP for counseling and referrals. Phone calls are answered by licensed counselors who have extensive clinical experience and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Aetna SAP provides a toll-free number of which students can call at any time day or night and be connected directly to a trained counselor who triages the situation. The number provided for CHSU COM is specific to CHSU Students.  Aetna SAP also provides a mobile app with additional resources that are available.
  • Aetna SAP provides six (6) telephonic counseling session for each concern a student faces. Aetna SAP where applicable will make referrals to local counselors where the student resides who are part of the students health insurance network.
  • Standard protocols govern the interaction and enables counselors to assess students and determine if emergency intervention is needed.
  • Through the 24x7 hotline, Aetna SAP can provide health services, legal assistance and other various support services.

Additional Mental Health Services

CHSU has contracted with a Clinical Psychologist to provide psychological counseling. Dr. Audrey Punnett offers eight (8) clinical hours (45minute) appointments available on Mondays beginning at 12 noon and continuing on the hour thereafter. Students can call Dr. Punnett on 559-225-8963 to make an appointment. Dr. Punnett’s appointments are all offsite.

CHSU has also contracted with a licensed LMFT, Zoua Xiong to provide additional counseling services for CHSU students. Student experiencing anxiety, depression, alcohol and substance abuse can reach out to her directly at or call (559) 527-5883. Student can receive up to six sessions per issue.

These services are provided free of charge to CHSU students.

A list of this service and other behavioral health lines and service providers is also available on the student affairs page of the website.

Additional Behavioral Health Resources

Additional services for behavioral health can be found through the following:

Central Valley Suicide Prevention Hotline; phone: (800) 273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 - call or text