About Us

Our Mission: The mission of the Department of Mental Health is to promote and improve the health of Vermonters.

The Department of Mental Health resides under the Agency of Human Services and has the same critical mission in mind: to improve the conditions and well-being of Vermonters and protect those who cannot protect themselves.  The Individuals and families that the Department of Mental Health (DMH) supports in Vermont's communities want the same things we all want; safe homes, close friends, loving relationships, good health and something meaningful to do each day. Our job is to help them succeed.

Our Vision: Mental Health will be a cornerstone of health in Vermont.  People will live in caring communities with compassion for and a determination to respond effectively and respectfully to the mental health needs of all citizens.  Vermonters will have access to effective prevention, early intervention, and mental health treatment and supports as needed to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities.

The Department of Mental Health continues to focus on its vision for self-determination, empowerment, recovery and resiliency.  This means being responsive to the needs of Vermonters and their families as well as continuing to challenge ourselves to try and change society’s culture, philosophy, values, and to fully embrace the concepts of recovery and resiliency. By improving our effectiveness and coordination of programs and services around the State, we will help Vermonters meet their needs.

Emily Hawes, Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health (DMH). Originally from Kansas, Emily spent 10 years working in community mental health with adults enrolled with community support programs before relocating to Vermont. Hawes has worked for DMH in several capacities over the past 7 years, beginning as a Care Manager (liaison to the Department of Corrections and The Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program), progressing to Care Management Director with statewide oversight for acute care beds for those under the care and custody of the Commissioner, moving up to become the Director of Operations, Planning and Development in 2017, with oversight for all grants, contracts and the DMH Continuing Operations Plan; and has served for the past four years as the CEO of the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital (VPCH), a 25-bed acute care psychiatric hospital for the state. Prior to DMH Emily worked for Clara Martin Center in Randolph overseeing their criminal justice and substance abuse programs. 

Hawes earned her BS in Rehabilitation Services and MS in Rehabilitation Counseling, both from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. She is also a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor in the State of Vermont.


Alison Krompf, MA is the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health (DMH). She began her career in healthcare, working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, then transitioned to mental health where she has 15 years of experience spanning Employee Assistance Programs, community mental health services and quality management. She has held the role of Director of Quality and Accountability for the department for the past two years, and previously served as Senior Policy Advisor, acting as legislative liaison, co-chairing the AHS Suicide Prevention Committee and the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths state implementation team. Alison holds a BA in Psychology from Colgate University, MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and is working on her Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies from UVM.



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Contact Information

Department of Mental Health
Commissioner Emily Hawes
280 State Drive, NOB 2 North
Waterbury, VT 05671-2010
Phone: (802) 241-0090
Fax: (802) 241-0100


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