Local News

County appoints new mental health director

Karen LarsenW

Karen Larsen has been hired as mental health director and alcohol and drug administrator in the Yolo County Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services.

Prior to taking this position, Larsen was the director of behavioral health services for CommuniCare Health Centers, responsible for the implementation and oversight of several specialized programs for individuals struggling with mental health and substance use disorders.

Larsen is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a master’s degree in counseling from Sacramento State. She has been providing services for mental health and substance use disorders for more than 20 years. She has managed several substance abuse programs throughout the region and has worked in every modality of substance abuse treatment, including detoxification, residential and outpatient.

Larsen also has taught several courses in human services at Woodland Community College and has created several specialized substance abuse and mental health treatment programs, including adolescent treatment, perinatal substance abuse treatment, dual diagnosis programs, assertive community treatment programs and a variety of evidence-based mental health interventions for adults and adolescents.

She Larsen has participated on several committees and advisory boards in her field, including the Alcohol and Drug Policy Institute, California Primary Care Association’s Behavioral Health Task Force, Yolo County Youth Substance Abuse Committee, Yolo County Children’s Alliance and Yolo County Drug Court/Proposition 36 Task Force.

“Yolo County will greatly benefit from Karen Larsen’s strong leadership skill and extensive experience in the field of mental health and substance abuse services,” said Yolo County Health Services Director Jill Cook. “We are happy to have her on the team.”

Said Larsen, “I am honored to have been chosen for this position and excited to continue to serve the underserved members of our community struggling with mental health and substance use disorders.

Larsen started work on March 3. The annual salary range for this position is $105,672 to $128,436.

Special to The Enterprise

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