By: Sarah Martin, Copy Editor

Sara Byczek has taken over as the new director of Counseling and Disability Services, according to a press release by the university.

Byczek started in December after almost a decade of experience at various university counseling offices. Before coming to UM-Dearborn, she worked as a psychologist at Wayne State University where she also served on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Byczek is a University of Michigan-Dearborn alumna and has stated that her top priority is to “break down the persistent stigmas around mental health that keep students from reaching out.”

“This is no Dr. Phil.” Byczek said in the press release, “It’s not about me telling you it’s your mother’s fault, your father’s fault. I’m not an advice giver. I am here to empower you to make decision, but you’re the expert on you.”

Byczek said she plans to expand the counseling center’s reach by connecting with student organizations, coaching faculty and staff on good mental health, and possibly create pop-up counseling offices for drop-ins and paperwork-free appointments.

Another issue she plans on tackling is the two-week wait time UM-Dearborn students by expanding group counseling programs. Byczek also plans to see students herself for counseling sessions.