Director of Department of Mental Health to retire in January 2021

The executive director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health has announced that she will retire from the agency at the end of January 2021. 

Executive Director Diana Mikula informed the Board of Mental Health of her decision at its November meeting after being with the department for the last 25 years and leading it since 2014. 

“I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to surround myself with the most compassionate, competent, and caring staff who are focused on one united mission to improve the lives of Mississippians, one person at a time,” Mikula said.

The board subsequently appointed Deputy Director for Administrative Services Wendy Bailey to fill the position. 

“My primary vision for the agency is to improve access to an evidence-based continuum of care for people with mental illness, substance use addiction, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every person has a voice and a story, and every person should be able to access and participate in the care that will improve their lives. Listening to the people we serve and developing evidence-based services and supports that inspire hope and help people obtain their goals are my priorities,” Bailey said.

In addition to her current role as Deputy Director for Administrative Services, Bailey has previously served as Chief of Staff and Director of the Bureau of Outreach and Planning. She has been with the agency for 15 years.