HCN News & Notes

Earl Miller Joins MHA Board of Directors

SPRINGFIELD — Earl Miller, who heads the town of Amherst’s Department of Community Responders for Equity, Safety and Service (CRESS), has joined the board of directors of the Mental Health Assoc. (MHA).

“I am proud to join such a talented and forward-thinking board, and I look forward to supporting the great work of MHA,” said Miller of the appointment to the board of the nonprofit that delivers residential recovery, housing support, and outpatient therapy services in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

Miller has an extensive background in recovery services. This past spring, he became the first director of CRESS, a public-safety department that works with Amherst’s Police and Fire departments as well as emergency dispatch to offer alternative options to issues of homelessness, mental health, and other non-criminal calls. It is described on its website as community-based, preventive “safety services in situations that don’t involve violence or serious crime” and designated as a “civilian, unarmed alternative to calls that might otherwise require a response from the Police Department.”

Prior to the CRESS appointment, Miller served as Western Mass. division director of Recovery for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. His work in that position included supporting the department’s mission across divisions, planning an annual Trauma and Resiliency Symposium and serving as area employment coordinator and emergency-management coordinator.

According to Cheryl Fasano, MHA president and CEO, “Earl’s extensive and proven experience across many social-service systems and funders will be an incredible asset to our board. I am very much looking forward to seeing the immediate impact his contributions will have as we launch a new strategic plan and continue to develop new programming to address and anticipate community need.”

Miller worked previously at the Center for Human Development as coordinator of Peer Roles and as Hampden County community coordinator for the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community. The latter position saw Miller operating drop-in centers in Holyoke and Springfield that primarily served those experiencing homelessness and helping develop a continuum of services that enabled the formerly homeless to help others transition to permanent housing.