President Joe Biden announced that he has nominated Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon as the assistant secretary for mental health and substance use.
Delphin-Rittmon currently serves as the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. In her new position, she will lead the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), according to Governor Ned Lamont.
Delphin-Rittmon is a Meriden resident who has served as the head of the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services since 2015, according to state officials.
She completed a two-year appointment under former president Barack Obama as senior advisor of SAMHSA, which is the same office that she was nominated to lead.
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Lamont issued a statement following the announcement.
“Commissioner Delphin-Rittmon has been a trusted advisor on some of the leading issues of our time, especially when it comes to the national impact of the opioid crisis and the growing mental health needs of our community following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why it comes as no surprise that President Biden has selected her to bring her expertise to the national level. I am grateful to have had her partnership in our administration, and while it is bittersweet that she is moving onto this new opportunity, I know that those of us in Connecticut can continue relying on her to be a trusted ally to advance these critical issues that she has advocated over these many years.”
Delpin-Rittmon said she is humbled and honored to be nominated.
“If confirmed, I look forward to joining the Biden-Harris administration to address the behavioral health of the nation during this challenging and transformative time. I want to thank Governor Ned Lamont for allowing me to continue to serve the people of Connecticut. We have done incredible work at the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services since I joined in 2015, and that’s due to the hard work and dedication of the employees who work on behalf of the individuals we serve every day. If confirmed, I will miss working with this exceptional group of professionals, but I am also proud to bring the lessons I have learned alongside this team as I head to SAMHSA," she said.
The state's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services serves over 110,000 adults with mental health and substance use disorders.
Under Commissioner Delphin-Rittmon's leadership, the agency has significantly boosted its services addressing issues impacting women, the opioid crisis and the behavioral health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the governor.
Lamont said the state will provide further updates regarding the leadership of the department in the coming weeks.