SC Department of Mental Health News Release

February 4, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Hutto, Public and Legislative Affairs
              (w) 803-898-8584
              (p) 803-929-8668
              JHH35@scdmh.org

Santee-Wateree Community Mental Health Center Names New Executive Director

 Columbia, SC – Officials at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and the board of the Santee-Wateree Community Mental Health Center announced today that Sumter native Richard B. Guess, M.Ed. has been named executive director of the mental health center. Mr. Guess has worked for the SCDMH since 1996, as director of Emergency and Crisis Services at Lexington County Community Mental Health Center.

According to Geoff Mason, SCDMH Director of Community Care Systems, “Mr. Guess will bring a great deal of clinical and management experience to the Sumter position, and I believe he will work closely to build alliances within the Santee-Wateree community and strengthen the continuum of care for individuals and their families whose lives have been impacted by a mental illness.  He is a strong leader who will unite employees and advocates to continue the fine work of the Santee-Wateree Community Mental Health Center.”

A summa cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina, Mr. Guess has a master’s of education degree in secondary guidance.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mr. Guess has more than 20 years of experience in the field of human services.  He is a designated examiner for the probate court system and has been qualified by various trial courts as an expert witness.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) is an integrated system of care offering an array of programs and services to meet the behavioral health needs of adults, children and adolescents and their families. The SCDMH operates seventeen community mental health centers around the state as well as two psychiatric hospitals and two nursing homes.

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