DANVILLE — A new leader and been selected to take the reins of the county’s mental health board next month.
The Mental Health Board met Friday evening and approved the selection of Jim Russell as the newest executive director of the Vermilion County 708 Mental Health Board. He officially begins work on Aug. 1.
Russell, minister at Orchard Hills Church of Christ in Covington, Ind., has been in this area since 1985 and in supervisory positions in mental health since 1996, including working for the Center for Children’s Services in Danville.
“So there is some familiarity with how the board has operated,” he said. “There’s also some familiarity with services that are in the community and also some knowledge of the needs that exist.
“I think all of those can be assets in taking the job,” Russell added.
In addition, Russell has a master’s degree in counseling and holds a license as a clinical professional counselor and as a sex offender treatment specialist.
Russell announced news of his new position to his congregation on Wednesday. He said he plans to continue as minister of the church during his tenure as 708 Board executive director.
The Mental Health 708 Board, established by the Community Mental Health Act, works on planning, reviewing and evaluating community programs and facilities providing mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities services to local residents.
Board members allocate local tax revenues to five service providers: WorkSource, Prairie Center Health Systems, Crosspoint Human Services, Hoopeston Multi-Agency and Wraparound/Complex Service Planning.
“It’s still for the most part, it’s a lot of the same programs, a lot of the same needs, a lot of the same goals that are in place that we can try to make sure are being addressed in the best possible way,” Russell said. “We can look at better ways for some of those.”