EVega

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Eduardo Vega, M.A.
Executive Director
Mental Health Association of San Francisco
Eduardo Vega became Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco (MHA-SF) in November 2010. MHA-SF is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of San Francisco’s diverse populations through advocacy, service, stigma-eradication, education, and research, and to advancerecoverydriven transformation of mental health services and supports in San Francisco and beyond.  Mr. Vega was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) in May of 2007 and reappointed in December 2010. In his role with the MHSOAC, Commissioner Vega serves as Chair of the Client and Family Leadership Committee and Vice-Chair of the Cultural and Linguistic Competency Committee.
 
Previously, Mr. Vega was Chief of the Office of Empowerment and Advocacy for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health for over three years, where he directed numerous programs to advance consumer rights and consumer employment, to challenge stigma and discrimination, and to promote self-determination and recovery programs. Prior to that, as Associate Director and Director of Education at Project Return: The Next Step in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s largest and oldest consumer-run peer support programs, Mr. Vega provided training on recovery practice, peer support, community integration, self-advocacy, and personal care planning. 
 
As Project Manager for the SAMHSA-funded National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse from 2002-2004, Mr. Vega planned and implemented technical assistance projects for consumerrunorganizations throughout the country. He served as general editor for major Clearinghouse products and developed the Consumer-Driven Services Directory, the first national website of its kind. 
 
A recovering mental health consumer with extensive experience as a provider, Mr. Vega has also authored policy briefs and analysis, articles, fact sheets, curricula, and research reviews for the SAMHSA Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma Associated with Mental Illness (the ADS Center), the UPenn Collaborative on Community Integration, Behavioral Healthcare Tomorrow, Mental Health Weekly, and the IAPSRS journal, among others. Through these efforts he has been an influential champion for inclusion of the voice of consumers, suicide attempt survivors, and family members in mental health system reform and policy.
 
In his work with mental health organizations representing Hispanics and other cultural minority groups, Mr. Vega has extensively advocated to advance cultural competence and to challenge the legacy of racial disparities in mental health access and quality. For this work he was honored by the U.S. Senate and the National Resource Center on Hispanic Mental Health in 2009. As a project partner on consumer rights, suicide prevention, and major mental health initiatives he has been active at the local, regional, and national levels with partners such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), California Institute of Mental Health, California Department of Mental Health, Mental Health Disparities Institute, Elimination of Barriers Initiative, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, National Strategy on Board and Care, Alternatives conference, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, UPenn Collaborative on Community Integration, National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, and Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research. 
 
Mr. Vega has taught and trained on mental health advocacy, consumer empowerment, recovery programs, and policy at conferences across the United States and in Tokyo, Kobe and other parts of Japan. He holds an M.A. in Psychology from the New School for Social Research and serves on the Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Recovery-to-Practice Initiative, Social Justice Advisory Committee of the California Mental Health Directors Association, and Advisory Council to the Alternatives conference.