New Center for Mental Health Services Director
Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W., has been selected to serve as the next Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). Over the course of his 17 years at CMHS, Mr. del Vecchio has served as the CMHS Acting Director, the CMHS Associate Director for Consumer Affairs, the Acting Director for the Office of External Liaison, and was the first Consumer Affairs Specialist hired by SAMHSA. He has promoted consumer participation in all aspects of the Center’s policies and operations, ranging from public education to developing evidence-based practices to address the needs of people with mental illnesses. Those efforts included initiating historic dialogue meetings between consumers/peers and practitioners, regional peer meetings, social inclusion efforts, training programs, and grant development.
Prior to joining SAMHSA, Mr. del Vecchio worked for the Philadelphia Office of Mental Health in the areas of policy formulation and the planning of a comprehensive system of community-based mental health services addressing homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and many other issues. A self-identified mental health consumer, trauma survivor, and person in recovery from addictions, Mr. del Vecchio has been involved for over 40 years in the behavioral health field. “As a consumer, a family member, a provider, and a policymaker, Paolo has been and will continue to be a strong advocate for those with mental and substance use disorders, and their families,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “He possesses the vision, the energy, and the leadership capacity necessary to steer CMHS into the years ahead.”