South Carolina’s mental health director to resign Nov. 1

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The director of South Carolina’s Department of Mental Health is giving up the post he’s held for two years, officials said.

Dr. Kenneth Rogers, a psychiatrist hired to run the agency in April 2020, announced last Thursday at an executive session of a meeting of the Mental health Commission that he would be leaving the department effective Nov. 1, The State reported.

Spokeswoman Tracy LaPointe said the agency would release further details later.

Rogers emailed agency staff Friday shortly after The State reported news of his resignation, to announce his pending departure and thank them for their support.

“You have shown incredible fortitude as we have faced extraordinary challenges, and I am proud to work with you,” he wrote. “While I am moving on to a new opportunity, I will forever be grateful for returning to SCDMH and for all I have learned during my tenure as state director.”

Rogers did not disclose his next move to staff, but pledged to send more information about what to expect in the near future and said he was confident the agency would be in “capable hands” going forward.

The seven-member Mental Health Commission, which is appointed by the governor, will select the agency’s next director with confirmation from the Senate.

Commission Chairman Greg Pearce said the board was surprised by Rogers’ announcement and had not asked him to resign.

“I certainly hold him in very, very high regard and am very disappointed that he’s leaving at this time,” he said.