Amelia Walton

Meet Amelia.

Raised on an egg farm with 1,500 chickens. Former bouncer, advertising rep, and McIntire School of Commerce development officer. Product of Marshall, NC, and Nelson County public schools, and a graduate of Tandem Friends, Warren Wilson College, and JMU, who completed a residency at the UVA Women’s Center. Daughter of a nurse and spouse of a nurse. The School of Nursing’s first-ever embedded psychotherapist.

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Walton is the School's first-ever embedded counselor

HER PROXIMITY TO NURSING

“My mom worked with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in the 1970s and 80s, so conversations about death and dying have been part of my household for a long time. My husband was in the second-ever cohort of CNL students and is now an acute care nurse practitioner working on the coronary care unit with heart failure patients. I feel like an honorary nurse!”

THERAPEUTIC STYLE

“I had a private practice for two years and during residency did some long-format trauma work with clients. I take a holistic perspective, offer trauma-informed care, and, once therapy begins, look at skills that can be integrated into students’ routines. I focus on prevention, on off-setting anxiety and stress, and feel particularly attuned to and love caring for higher-risk populations (socio-economic, as well as ethnically and racially diverse groups) because it can be hard to find belonging and place at a predominantly white, high-achieving institution. I want all the pieces of these students’ identities to be known and cared for.”

"I want people to know: all mental health questions are worth asking.”

Counselor Amelia Walton

“A lot about what I’ll do is TBD, but in the conversations I’ve had so far, there’s been suggestions that I come into classes, work with programs, meet with cohorts, and maybe even organize regular support groups around skills-based mental health learning specific to, say, ADHD management, sobriety, sleep, eating, and over-exercising. I’m going to go where the need is and do my best to learn about what people here need.”

HOW TO GET AN APPOINTMENT

“My position is part of UVA’s Counseling and Psychological Services, known as CAPS, which makes it unique because I’m at the School of Nursing but also kind of separate from it. I grew up in a divorced household, so having my feet on two sides of things feels easy and natural."

“Students interested in talking can call or email me to set up a phone consult—they can also get one of those if they call or visit CAPS front desk—and, from there, we start with some basics, like, What brought you in? What do you hope to get out of this? I also reiterate early on that I’m not the expert in the room . . . students know what’s best and I can help get them what they need. When I meet with a client, my ears listen for different things. Also, I want people to know: all mental health questions are worth asking.”

THE SCHOOL IN A WORD?

“METAMORPHOSIS. I have a butterfly on my wall because, really, it’s my favorite counseling metaphor. The DNA of a caterpillar is identical to that of the butterfly. We can be the same and go through change. We can remain constant within ourselves even as we heal. We’re still always us.

“There’s a strong sense care here, and faculty and staff so consistently go above and beyond attending to students’ needs. Helpers gonna help! It’s a building full of helpers. People are so known here, so seen. Even when there’s heated discourse, it’s because people really care what happens here. And TC (senior assistant dean of students Theresa Carroll) is like a celebrity!”

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The first step for accessing counseling services at the School of Nursing is completing a brief phone assessment with Amelia to determine next steps. To schedule this, students may email Amelia directly or schedule an initial phone assessment by calling CAPS (434-243-5150, M-F, 8 AM to 5 PM) or through their Healthy Hoos portal. UVA students may also sign up for virtual mental health support services through Timely Care, a UVA affiliate service, which offers 12 free scheduled telehealth counseling visits with a licensed mental health provider.

Students needing urgent mental health support may walk into Student Health and Wellness's CAPS (at the end of Brandon Avenue, on the nursing school-side of Grounds, M-F, 8 AM to 4:30 PM) and meet with a counselor, or reach someone by phone 24/7/365 (434-243-5150), or use the TalkNow feature of Timely Care, or contact the 24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.