Meet Lynn Beshear, new commissioner of Alabama Department of Mental Health


Alabama’s new State Mental Health Commissioner Lynn Beshear / Courtesy of M.D. Connection

MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey in July appointed Lynn Beshear commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

“I am honored to appoint Lynn Beshear as commissioner of the Department of Mental Health,” Ivey said. “Through active participation in securing mental health services in the River Region, Lynn understands the complexities of the department, and the importance of its work on behalf of the people of Alabama.”

“I did not seek out this position, but I am honored to be chosen to serve my fellow Alabamians,” Beshear stated. “I am excited to work with Gov. Ivey, her cabinet, the Legislature, and the professionals within the Department of Mental Health, to provide excellent services for Alabamians with mental illness, those who are developmentally delayed, and those who struggle with substance abuse.”

Beshear moved from Kentucky to Montgomery in 1978 and has been a key player in the city’s positive development ever since. She has previously served on the board of directors for organizations and establishments including Montgomery Academy, United Way, First United Methodist Church and others. She currently serves on the board of Joint Public Charity Hospital, Montgomery Metro YMCA, and the AUM School of Liberal Arts Advisory Board. She is a founding member of Envision 2020 and currently serves as its Executive Director.

Among other honors, Beshear was named the Montgomery Advertiser Woman of Achievement in 1993, and received the Maury D. Smith Excellence in Professional Ethics Award in 2016.

Beshear was born in Durham, North Carolina and is married to Dr. Bob Beshear, a retired pediatrician. She graduated from North Carolina Baptist Hospital School of Nursing. She worked as a staff nurse in the Intensive Care Nursey at Duke University Medical Center and was promoted to head nurse in the Duke Well-Baby Nursey.

As commissioner, Beshear will work toward developing new polices and strive to better existing programs.

On Thursday, July 27, State Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview hosted a meeting at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) training center, to introduce Beshear to professionals in his district who are on the front line of Alabama’s mental health care struggle. See that full story at

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