Paula Stone serves as the Director of the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health for DHS. In this role, she oversees the state’s public mental health system, the state’s forensic system, federal grant programs aimed at preventing and treating substance use disorder, and the team that leads the Arkansas State Hospital. Paula, who is a licensed certified social worker, began working for the Department as the children’s director for the then Division of Behavioral Health Services in 2009. She remained in that role for nearly 12 years before serving as the deputy director of the Division of Medical Services for three years. She briefly left DHS to serve as the executive director of the Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence. She returned to DHS in 2020 and has been the OSAMH director since April 2023. Paula is passionate about ensuring all Arkansans have access to needed mental health and substance use disorder services at the right time and in the right setting to best meet their needs.