Fileccia named director of UMaine Counseling Center

Angela Fileccia has taken on the role of director at the University of Maine Counseling Center. Her position began on Aug. 8.

Fileccia has 20 years of experience in the field of behavioral health with extensive expertise and knowledge of mental, behavioral and social health needs of community members and clients. She began her career working with children with serious emotional disturbance and then transitioned to working with adults. She worked with adults and elders in both a psychiatric and medical hospital, providing inpatient, acute psychotherapy and care transition planning to individuals with serious and persistent mental illness and substance use disorders. 

“I am really interested in prevention and de-stigmatization of mental health conditions. The university setting is a perfect place to do that,” Fileccia says. “I also want to make sure that we are engaging with the campus community so we’re really out and about and seen as part of the campus community and as a resource, not just when folks are having difficulty, but also to keep folks from having mental health challenges. I want folks to feel welcome, feel like it’s a safe space and feel like we can chat with each other and be as helpful and welcoming as possible.”

“We are thrilled to have Angela join the University of Maine community. She has a positive health orientation, and her sense of compassion and care fits perfectly in a student-centered university. The Counseling Center is a critically important campus resource and Angela is perfectly suited to lead us in the next phases of the Counseling Center’s growth and change,” says Robert Dana, Vice President for Student Life and Inclusive Excellence and Dean of Students at UMaine.

Fileccia comes to UMaine from Northern Light Acadia Hospital, where she worked as director of the holistic mental health and wellness program, Healthy Life Resources. This program works directly with employers to provide mental wellness services to employees, reducing stigma associated with mental health services, educating employees on mental wellness and assisting at-risk employees. 

Prior to that position, Fileccia served as the chief care management officer at Penobscot Community Healthcare, Maine’s largest Federally Qualified Healthcare Center, where she oversaw a multi-disciplinary care management department of 40 professionals. During her tenure, she helped found Unlimited Solutions Clubhouse, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) evidence-based psycho-social rehabilitation model for people with severe and persistent mental illness. 

“Right now, the healthcare field in general has really started to move toward a community model, a collaborative integrated model where you have many professionals working together to address health in a holistic way,” Fileccia says. “I’m hoping to bring that perspective to the Counseling Center as well.”

In 2013, Fileccia received the Behavioral Health Excellence Award from the Maine Primary Care Association and won the Unsung Hero Award in 2016. She received the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award from the UMaine School of Social Work, where she graduated with her master’s degree in 2001. 

“I have tried to stay connected to the School of Social work throughout the years,” says Fileccia. “I really value the university and what it brings to the state, and also what the School of Social Work brings to the state.” 

Fileccia has also been a registered yoga teacher since 2006 and is currently the director of education at Om Land Yoga’s teacher training and advanced studies program, which is returning this fall for its tenth year of training after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. 

“One of the things that melds nicely with mental health and yoga is the mindfulness aspect,” Fileccia says. “I try to infuse that sense of mindfulness, being present, being kind and respectful with yoga, but also in the mental health field.”