Gov. Shumlin names new Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health
May 16, 2013 - MONTPELIER - Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that Paul Dupre of Barre, Executive Director of Washington County Mental Health Services, Inc. (WCMHS), will become the new state Commissioner of Mental Health. Dupre has worked closely with the Department of Mental Health, the Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services, consumers, families and advocates in developing and implementing a recovery philosophy in community settings. He replaces Acting Commissioner Mary Moulton, who will return to her previous position at WCMHS.
“Paul has a long record of commitment to Vermont’s mental health community, and has been an aggressive advocate for improving the lives of Vermonters who deal with mental health issues,” Gov. Shumlin said. “He will help us reshape our system into a community-based system where Vermonters can receive the care and services they need closer to home. He will also oversee continued planning and implementation of the new, state-of-the-art state hospital, currently under construction in Berlin.”
Dupre has worked with WCMHS since 1978, where he assisted in the start-up of one of Vermont’s first group homes for patients from the Vermont State Hospital who required a therapeutic residence in order to come back to the community. In addition, he helped develop housing in partnership with the local land trust, HUD and other community resources.
“I am a strong supporter of Vermont’s new community-based mental health legislation, and look forward to implementing this innovative approach for mental health treatment and support,” said Dupre. “I will continue the Department’s strong relationships with consumers, their families and community partners in providing high quality services to Vermonters with mental illness.”
Human Services Secretary Doug Racine welcomed Dupre to the Agency, saying, “I have known and worked with Paul for many years. He is caring and compassionate, always focusing on the best interests of those he serves. His extensive clinical and administrative background make him ideally suited to the tough job ahead.”
Dupre previously served as a City Councilor and Mayor of Barre. He sits on the board of Laraway Youth and Family Services, as well as the Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. He is the Board President of Collaborative Solutions, Corp., and Treasurer of Central Vermont Substance Abuse Services. He was the Treasurer of the National Association for Rural Mental Health for several years, has participated in the Department of Mental Health’s Transformation Council since its inception, and has served on several other state committees.