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Department of Mental Health Deputy Commissioner

  • Deputy Commissioner Marie Williams
  • Marie Williams serves as the Deputy Commissioner, overseeing the daily operations of each division and acts on behalf of the commissioner in his absence, as necessary.
  • Prior to her appointment in September 2011, she was the Department’s Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Mental Health Services. She helped establish the “Creating Homes Initiative” in 2000, a groundbreaking program that has become a model for other states and communities to follow. She also was instrumental in developing the Behavioral Health Safety Net of Tennessee, a program funding the delivery of core mental health services to uninsured adults.
  • Before coming to work for the state, she worked at Midtown Mental Health Center as a therapist, homeless case manager and director of homeless services working with people diagnosed with mental illness and substance abuse issues; at Catholic Charities as a therapist and director of homeless residential programs; with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a community builder fellow; and with the University of Memphis and University of Tennessee as a faculty member in their Social Work departments.
  • She also is the author of “Out of Poverty,” a peer-based curriculum for people seeking prosperity.
  • She has a master’s degree in social work and is a licensed clinical social worker.
  • Contact: or (615) 532-6503