Mark Stringer Named Director of the Department of Mental Health

The Missouri Mental Health Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Stringer as the new Director for the Department of Mental Health (DMH).  Stringer was selected from a field of top mental health professionals in the country.  He will begin his new role and responsibilities with DMH on July 1, 2015.

“The Commission has the utmost confidence in the abilities and talents of Mark Stringer,” said Commissioner Steve Roling, Chair of the Search Committee. “We look forward to the Department’s continued growth and success with current initiatives and we know Mark will strengthen existing relationships and build new ones as well as carry on the innovative thinking of Keith Schafer and the DMH Senior Management Team.”

Having worked closely with retiring DMH Director Keith Schafer since 2007, Stringer will continue to provide a similar style of the leadership.  He has been in the mental health field for more than 28 years and served on the DMH team for 16 years in various roles.  For the last 8 years he has been the DMH Director for the Division of Behavioral Health, which underwent a major change in 2009 when the two separate divisions, Comprehensive Psychiatric Services and Alcohol and Drug Abuse, combined into one division. Stringer has an exemplary track record in Missouri and nationally. He will continue to push for strengthening services for consumers and work collaboratively with stakeholders, the Governor’s Office, the Legislature and other state agency leaders.

The 60-day, national search for the new Director included a 12 member advisory stakeholder panel comprised of individuals representing statewide organizations from the fields of behavioral health and developmental disabilities.  The panel reviewed applications, interviewed qualified candidates and recommended individuals to the Mental Health Commission.  The Commission conducted its own interviews and made the final decision.

DMH serves approximately 170,000 Missourians annually through state-operated facilities and contracts with private providers.

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