Mental Health America of Dutchess County

MHADC Overview

MHADC Program Overview

Executive Director

Andrew O'Grady, LCSW-R

Board of Directors


Joseph Ellman, MS, MPA

Teresa Gasparini
Vice President

Veronica A. Cavalla, RN, MSN

Paul Ackermann

Board Members

Paul Ackermann
Saluta Anderson-Davis
Yolanda Armstrong-Rubin
Sakima A. G. Brown
Judy Canham
Veronica A. Cavalla, RN, MSN
Debi Duke
Arlene Elderkin
Joseph Ellman
Teresa C. Gasparini
Julie Gutierrez
Daria Hanssen, Ph.D., LCSW-R
Larry Hughes
Thomas F. Kelly, III
Robert E. Martin
Kathleen Metzger
Uma Satyendra

Honorary Members

Harriett Fein
Benjamin Hayden, Ph.D.

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Home > Who Is Mental Health America of Dutchess County

Who Is Mental Health America of Dutchess County

Mental Health America of Dutchess County grew out of the Dutchess County Society for Mental Health, a small group of caring citizens who incorporated in 1954. These citizens were concerned about the lack of affordable community mental health services. Local residents had only two mental health assistance options – private therapy or hospitalization at Hudson River State Hospital.

The society’s goal was to establish a community clinic where people would be charged only what they could afford. Soon after the first clinic opened, the society began advocacy work, volunteer services at the hospital, an alcoholism clinic, and an ex-patients’ club. In 1967, society members were instrumental in obtaining the federal funds used to construct the Dutchess County Mental Health Center, located at 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie. In 1970, the Dutchess County Society for Mental Health turned its clinics over to the Dutchess County government.


Today, more than 50 years after a concerned group of citizens began their work, members of Mental Health America of Dutchess County continue as a voluntary, not-for-profit organization. Our administrative and main field offices are now located at 253 Mansion Street, Poughkeepsie, NY.

We are part of a national network of 320 affiliates dedicated to helping all people lead mentally healthier lives. The bell image in the logo is a graphic representation of an actual 300 lb. bell, the Mental Health America Bell. The Bell was forged more than 50 years ago with iron chains and shackles that bound people in mental asylums. It serves as a visual reminder of our past and the progress we have made, and a powerful symbol of our vital mission.

Mental Health America of Dutchess County is funded in part by Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene, Dutchess County Department of Social Services, Dutchess County Youth Bureau, HUD, Department of Health, and other public and private funding sources.