South Carolina Department of Mental Health
2414 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29202
News Release


May 11, 2007
Contact:    John Hutto

Office of Public and Legislative Affairs
Phone: (803) 898-8581

Pager:  (803) 929-8668


Beckman Center for Mental Health Services Names New Executive Director

Columbia, SC – Officials at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and the board of the Beckman Center for Mental Health Services have named Melanie E. Gambrell, LPC, as executive director of the mental health center, effective July 2, 2007. She has served as assistant director at Beckman since 2006 and has worked at the center for ten years.   

“Ms. Gambrell is an excellent choice to lead Beckman Center,” said Geoffrey J. Mason, deputy director, SCDMH Community Mental Health Services.  “She has worked at the center for a number of years, taking on increasingly complex duties and excelling at each challenge she has faced.  I am confident that under her leadership Beckman will continue to provide the highest quality care to the citizens it serves.”

The Beckman Center for Mental Health Services, located in Greenwood, serves Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties.  The center and its various clinics and specialty offices served 4,295 citizens in fiscal year 2005-2006, and provide a range of services.

Gambrell received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Augusta College in 1993 and her master’s degree in Psychology from Augusta State University in 1996.  She became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 1999, and has extensive experience in adult and children’s services. 

"I feel so fortunate to continue my work with the exceptional staff at the Beckman Center and eagerly anticipate my new role,” said Gambrell.  “I plan to work closely with staff, clients, and other stakeholders in the community to provide excellent mental health services and education, and to raise awareness of and decrease the stigma associated with mental illness."

The Department of Mental Health operates seventeen community mental health centers, four psychiatric hospitals, and three nursing care centers, including two for veterans, and last year served more than 100,000 citizens, including 33,000 children.