Free Mental Health Services for Penn Undergrads

Struggling with the stress of college? Exploring gender or sexuality? Relationship challenges? Grief and loss? Or any other concerns?

Please reach out.

Frequently Asked Questions

For the past few years, it has become clear to the Penn Hillel staff team that the need for mental health support is great and that our students have had an increasingly difficult time securing services.  Through a great deal of research and with donor support, we identified an opportunity to work in partnership with Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Philadelphia to have our very own therapist to support our students. Our therapist will support students individually, host group gatherings in support of mental health, support staff wellness, and help students identify alternative therapeutic treatment if more appropriate.

Michelle Dembo is a Licensed Social Worker and graduate from Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2). She has experience counseling adolescents, young adults, and older adults in both inpatient and outpatient mental health settings. Michelle’s therapeutic approach is trauma-informed and relational, drawing from psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral theories as well. She hopes to be a support for students as they experience life transitions, grief and loss, and stress or anxiety, and she always strives to help her clients find more joy and purpose in life. Michelle provides a space for exploration and growth through humor, warmth, and true compassion. She is thrilled to be working with the Penn Hillel community!

Any currently enrolled undergraduate, regardless of background, is eligible to sign-up for services through this program.  Individuals who may be struggling with the stress of college, exploring gender or sexuality, relationship challenges, grief and loss, or any other concerns are encouraged to seek support.

Students will decide together with Michelle if short term or long-term work may be more beneficial. Sessions are 50 minutes long.

Sessions will be held in-person on the third floor of Penn Hillel. Michelle has a private office with a noise-cancelling machine outside the door to ensure confidentiality.

It is 100% free for Penn students!

If you would currently like mental health support, are having a tough time, or want to maintain your mental health, please complete this form and someone from Jewish Family and Children’s Services will call you directly to get you set up with a few quick paperwork/logistical items. Once you’ve completed the short intake process with JFCS, Michelle will be in touch to coordinate your first in-person appointment. From there, you’ll be all set for regular weekly sessions!

Helpful Resources