Lee Carlson Center provides exceptional and affordable mental health services for families, children, youth, and adults in our community.



Lee's Story


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Back in 1979, a registered nurse named Lee Carlson (pictured above with her daughter Julie) was struck by the lack of mental health services available in Anoka County.

Inspired to make a difference, Lee started a grass roots effort to provide high-quality low-cost mental health services to children and families.

Lee provided not only the vision for these services, she rallied support from other community leaders and county officials to provide public and financial support.

The result was Central Center for Family Resources, a community-based mental health clinic and 501 © 3 charitable organization housed out of a few donated offices in the Spring Lake Park Municipal Building.

Lee’s compassion for families in need was truly remarkable. She had an unlimited capacity to love and nurture and had an innate ability to connect with everyone she met.

On a professional level, she expected the highest degree of ethical standards from her staff and gave nothing less in her own service to others.

Thanks to Lee’s vision, insight, and determination we’ve been able to expand our services through the years. We currently help over 4,000 individuals and families every year who are struggling with emotional and behavioral issues. In fact, we’re recognized as the primary provider of mental health services in the county.

Lee passed away in 2003, but her legacy lives on in the work we do today.

As a tribute to our founder, in 2009 our name became “Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health & Well-Being.”