MONTPELIER (AP) - The executive director of a regional mental health organization is going to become the next commissioner of the Vermont Department of Mental Health.

The appointment of Paul Dupre, of Barre, was announced Thursday by Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Dupre currently leads Washington County Mental Health. He will replace acting Mental Health Commissioner Mary Moulton, who will return to her previous position at Washington County Mental Health.

Shumlin says Dupre has a long record of commitment to Vermont's mental health community and has been an aggressive advocate for Vermonters with mental health issues.

Dupre will help Vermont reshape its mental health system into one where people can receive the care and services they need closer to home.