Takashi Wada M.D., interim director of the Santa Barbara County Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services, on Saturday announced the appointment of Michael Camacho-Craft MFT as the new assistant director of clinical programs for the department.
“This executive-level position requires someone with proven leadership abilities, dynamic clinical skills and a strategic thinker who can help the department and broader public behavioral health system navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of systems change," Wada said. "Michael brings all of that and more.”
Camacho-Craft received a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from UCLA and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Chapman University. He shifted his focus to marriage and family therapy in 1992 and ADMHS as a mental health practitioner II in late 1999. Most recently, he served as regional manager in the North County.
Camacho-Craft is married and raising three cherished children, ages 17, 14 and 7, with his wife, Lucila. He is fluent in Spanish.
As a member of the ADMHS systems change design team, Camacho-Craft has played a key role in the development of the ADMHS Systems Change Initiative announced in June. His leadership has also been credited with making substantial improvements to Lompoc mental health programs and the Juvenile Justice Mental Health Services unit.
With an annual budget of $68.4 million, ADMHS provides treatment, rehabilitation and support services to approximately 7,600 clients with mental illness and 4,500 clients with substance use disorders annually.
“We invite ADMHS staff and community stakeholders in welcoming Michael in his new role as a leader with the heart, vision and abilities to lead our clinical operations in a new era of collaboration, effectiveness and efficiency,” said Ted Myers, ADMHS chief operating officer for Systems Change. “He will lead our efforts in providing welcoming, integrated and recovery/resiliency-oriented services in our mental health and substance use treatment programs.”
— Eric Baizer is a department analyst at the Santa Barbara County Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services.