De Anza College psychological services to relocate, expand staff

Lianna Martinez, Staff Reporter

The De Anza College psychological services department will face significant changes including finding new staff, locations and ways to assist the increasingly large number of student appointments the office receives per day.

After sharing space with veteran services, the psychological services offices will be assigned in the second floor of the Registration and Student Services building. The change is in response to a rising number of students, according to data and program information provided by Michele LeBleu-Burns, dean of student development and Extended Opportunities Programs and Services.

“Psychological services will be moving to a new location fall quarter. We will be upstairs by the counseling department to better assist the needs of students,” said William Firmender, counselor of psychological services.

Due to budget cuts, psychological services offices were moved near the bookstore, which was then shared with the veterans services office, according to a March 2018 article of La Voz News.

Firmender, who will be taking over as director of the department in the fall, suggested a number of ideas and plans for the department to further encourage students to take advantage of the office’s services.

“We want to create a psych services for the 21st century,” Firmender said. “One that can acknowledge the mental health needs of our students and can give them a place they can be supported for whatever they are coming in for.”

Firmender said the goal is to clarify people’s perceptions as to what psychological services are and what they actually do.

According to LeBleu-Burns, services will be provided in between the counselling department and the transfer department.

Some students at De Anza are unaware of the current location of the psychological services department.

“I didn’t even know we had psychological services here at our school or even the location of the department. They should let students know,” said Darrel Perry, 21, theater major.

Firmender said accommodating students is becoming a reality as psychological services is now receiving two extra offices as well as additional think space areas.

Firmender said he hopes to provide additional workshops to help students gain support from others going through similar situations.