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Student Life

Welcome to Counseling Services

Counseling Services offers a range of services including individual and couples counseling, crisis intervention, outreach workshops and educational programming, psychiatric treatment, alcohol and other drug education, consultation to faculty, staff, parents, and students, and off-campus referrals. Group counseling is available as needs arise. Counseling services are confidential and free to all enrolled MCLA students.

Mission Statement

Counseling Services is committed to helping students achieve their personal and academic success by assisting them to resolve personal difficulties as well as by serving as mental health consultants to the entire campus community. Counseling Services strives to contribute to the overall educational mission of the college by facilitating the social, emotional, and intellectual development of students so that they may become active participants in their educational experiences, productive members of their communities, and pursue satisfying lives.


Counseling Services is located in the MountainOne Student Wellness Center, 2nd Floor.

Hours of Operation

Counseling Services office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm.

Making an Appointment

Students are seen at Counseling Services by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please call or drop by the office. Please do not use e-mail to make an appointment.

Mailing Address & Contact Information

MCLA Counseling Services
MountainOne Student Wellness Center, 2nd Floor
375 Church Street
North Adams, MA 01247
Tel: 413-662-5331
Fax: 413-662-5588


During Business Hours

In certain situations, students may be seen in Counseling Services during regular business hours without an appointment for crisis intervention. Examples of such situations include life-threatening circumstances, current or recent traumatic crisis, serious mental illness, and concerns about the safety of self or others.

After Business Hours

After 4:30 p.m. and on weekends during the academic year, please call the Crisis Team of the Brien Center for Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services at 1-413-499-0412 or 1-800-252-0227, or go to the North Adams Campus of BMC Emergency Room. If you live on-campus, you may also contact the MCLA Department of Public Safety at ext. 5100, a Resident Director, or a Resident Assistant.

Additional Resources

Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Samaritan Helpline - 1-877-870-HOPE (4673)
Text a Crisis Counselor - 741741


As a student receiving counseling services, you have a right to privacy and confidentiality. However:

  • A counselor may release confidential information if you have given written consent to do so.
  • A counselor may release confidential information if a client is a danger to him or herself, or presents a danger to others.
  • A counselor must report any knowledge of abuse or neglect of a child or elderly person or a disabled person.
  • A court of law or judge may require a counselor to produce confidential information (a very rare occurrence).
  • Counseling records never become a part of a student's transcript or college record.

Email Policy

Counseling is conducted face-to-face, not through email. The privacy of email cannot be assured, therefore we encourage you not to communicate with our office using this method.

Although we check our email often, we make no promise concerning when or how often email is read. You have no way of knowing whether the recipient is unavailable due to vacation, illness or other reason. Therefore, your message may not be received and read promptly.

We recommend that you call the office at 413-662-5331 to set up an appointment or to speak with a counselor rather than attempt to contact us through email.

Counseling FAQ


Meet the Staff

Heidi Riello, MSW, LICSW, Director

Photo of Heidi RielloHeidi holds a master's degree in social work from Simmons College and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut. Before joining the MCLA community in 2011, Heidi spent 3.5 years as a staff counselor in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Counseling Center in Troy, NY and 3.5 years as the Assistant Director of Counseling Services at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. She also had a private practice and worked in community mental health on Martha's Vineyard for several years. Her interests include using cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness in the treatment of anxiety and depression. On a personal note, Heidi enjoys movies, running, yoga, music festivals, and spending time with her family.

Jon Meehan, MSSW, LICSW, Counselor

Photo of Jon MeehanJon holds a master's degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor's degree from Ithaca College. Before joining the MCLA community in 2004, Jon worked at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Child & Family Services in Easthampton. He also worked at JRI Health in Boston, which specialized in health and mental health treatment for young adults, and with homeless 18-21 year-olds at a transitional housing program in Somerville, Mass. His professional interests include mindfulness-based interventions, cognitive-behavioral treatment, and existential theories. He enjoys gardening, learning, camping, hiking, and family fun. He relaxes by cooking, spending time in the Adirondacks, reading, and swimming.

Claire Cabiles, MSW, LICSW, Counselor

Photo of Claire CabilesClaire holds a master's degree in social work from the State University of New York at Albany and a bachelor's degree in sociology from the City College of New York. Before joining MCLA Counseling Services, Claire worked for the Brien Center in Great Barrington for more than 17 years. She also works as a Home-School Liaison in Bennington Elementary School in Vermont. Claire's professional interests include mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral treatment. On a personal note, she enjoys outdoor activities, gardening and spending time with her family.

Sonora Thomas, MA, LMHC, Counselor

Photo of Sonora ThomasSonora holds a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling from Lesley University and was a graduate fellow at the Boston Institute for Psychotherapy. Before joining the MCLA community in 2016, Sonora worked at Lesley University Counseling Center and Austin Riggs Center. She has extensive training in mind/body therapies including the Alexander Technique and Self Regulation Therapy. She has a small private practice and is continuing her professional training at the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute. Sonora enjoys yoga, hiking, Stephen Colbert, and spoiling her dog Banjo.

Rita M. Karhan, MEd, Office Manager

Rita M. KarhanRita holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from North Adams State College (now MCLA) and a master's in higher education administration from MCLA. She started working at the college in 1994 in the Alumni and Development Office and joined the Counseling Services staff as office manager in 2000. Her professional interests are in research and finding different ways for all students to connect mental health education to their lives. Rita answers the phone, makes your appointment, and is the first person you see when you come into the counseling center. On a personal note, Rita enjoys her gardens, Zumba, yoga, and especially her family and grandchildren.

John Howland, MD, Consulting Psychiatrist

John Howland


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