Sidney Copeland Wolverton, 83, an official with the National Institute of Mental Health, died Sept. 11 of Pick's disease, a neurological disorder, at Carriage Hill of Bethesda nursing home.

Mr. Wolverton came to the Washington area in 1970 as the first director of the Office of Program Planning at NIMH. He was director of the Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention at NIMH at the time of his retirement in 1982.

After his retirement, he volunteered with the Montgomery County Mental Health Association and was president of its volunteer program. In 1986, he was named Advocate of the Year.

As chairman of the Community Advisory Task Force for New Mental Health Directions, Mr. Wolverton testified before committees of the Maryland legislature in support of the creation of a unified department to administer mental health, alcohol, drug abuse, victim and rehabilitation services.

Mr. Wolverton was born in Bandon, Ore., and grew up in Vista, Calif. He was an Eagle Scout. He served in the Navy during World War II aboard the USS Eaton DD-510 and was part of the naval force that participated in the liberation of the Philippines.

Following his discharge as a lieutenant junior grade in 1946, Mr. Wolverton graduated from San Diego State University. In 1949, he received a master's degree in social work from the University of Washington.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he worked in California as a probation officer, community organizer with the state mental health department and psychiatric social worker. From 1965 to 1970, he was executive director of the Riverside County Economic Board, which received national recognition for including low-income residents in decision-making roles.

Mr. Wolverton enjoyed the outdoors and for many years was a volunteer campground host for the National Park Service in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. He had a strong interest in photographing and collecting wild mushrooms and often prepared Chinese meals from edible mushrooms at his home in Silver Spring.

He had a large flower and vegetable garden that inspired people to send appreciative postcards. He also enjoyed camping, sailing, long-distance swimming, travel and wine. In California, one of his hobbies was beekeeping.

His marriage to Carol Wolverton ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 33 years, E. Dollie Wolverton of Silver Spring; two children from his first marriage, Steven Wolverton of North Hollywood, Calif., and Susan Aguilera of Santa Ana, Calif.; one sister; and two grandsons.

Sidney Wolverton was chairman of a task force on mental health.