Sarah Squirrell, a former top executive at Laraway Youth and Family Services in Johnson, has been appointed commissioner of the Vermont Department of Mental Health.
Squirrell replaces Melissa Bailey, who resigned at the end of October; interim commissioner Mourning Fox will return to his work as deputy commissioner.
Squirrell will start her new job Jan. 1.
Squirrell has extensive experience in human services, with a focus on Vermont’s young children and families. For the last two and half years, Squirrell has been executive director of Building Bright Futures, a statewide nonprofit organization that monitors the state’s early care, health and education systems.
Squirrell has a master’s degree in community mental health and clinical counseling from Southern New Hampshire University, and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Johnson State College.
For nearly a decade, Squirrell was the director of school-based mental health services for Laraway Youth and Family Services in Johnson.