Art Center Promotes Wellness – Committed to Creatives’ Success

BEING WELL: Introducing Darshana Lele, Ph.D., Art Center’s New Director of Counseling and Wellness

Art Center's new Director of Counseling and Wellness Services, Darshana Lele, Ph.D.  photo by Chuck Spangler

Art Center's new Director of Counseling and Wellness Services, Darshana Lele, Ph.D.

You may be a brilliant artist or designer, but if your health and emotional well-being are not optimum, your short and long-term success is at risk.

That’s why the campus community recently welcomed Darshana Lele, Ph.D., as Art Center’s first Director of Counseling and Wellness.  The move reflects the College’s increased commitment to help students succeed, as part of the Create Change initiative.

“Our students are famously known for working hard to be at the top of their game, sometimes at the unacceptable cost of their own well-being,” said Jeffrey Hoffman, M.S., Dean of Students.  With Dr. Lele’s leadership, experience and dedication to improving the balance between the intense challenge and the vital level of support necessary for our students to be successful, we look forward to more on-campus and off-campus opportunities to stay well – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

In support of students’ personal and career success, Lele will provide individual counseling to students, promote health and wellness through prevention and educational programming, and oversee all current and future counseling and wellness services.  She will provide leadership in working with the Center for the Student Experience (CSE) team in developing a holistic approach to meeting the health and wellness needs of students.  In the very near future she will be joined by an additional post-doctoral intern to further develop resources, programs, and services.

In an effort to provide students with effective and meaningful health and wellness programming and resources, earlier this year Art Center participated in a national study.  The purpose of the study, “Healthy Minds,” is to estimate the prevalance of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and disordered eating using validated instruments, therapy/counseling and medication use for mental health.

“As our students strive towards excellence, it becomes increasingly important to focus on their emotional and physical well-being,” said Lele.

“My focus is to promote an empathic and non-judgmental environment where our students can flourish, academically and in their interpersonal lives. Our services offer individual counseling and crisis interventions.”

“I also hope to guide the program toward increasing awareness of mental health issues and implementing a coordinated, school-wide wellness initiative,” she continued.

Lele has significant experience as a clinical psychologist and in crisis management. She received her B.A. in psychology with honors from George Washington University, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Adelphi University, and a certificate of completion in Relational Psychotherapy from the Steven A. Mitchell Center for Relational Studies.  She has worked with a broad range of client populations throughout her career.  Lele has provided individual and group therapeutic counseling at Amsterdam House Nursing Home, Adelphi University Psychological Services, Interfaith Medical Center, North Central Bronx Hospital, Center for Autism & Related Disorders, and Community Residence for Mentally Ill Adults.

Students can make counseling appointments with Lele by visiting the CSE (across from the library), in room 200A, or by calling 626.396.2323 or email

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