INTERVIEW:

BIO: Alfredo Aguirre, LCSW, is the Director of Behavioral Health Services of San Diego County and has served in the capacity of Mental Health Director since 1999. He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Network of Social Work Managers (NSWM), is a member of the California Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA) and is the Co-Chair of the Cultural Competence, Equity, and Social Justice Committee of the CBHDA. Mr. Aguirre also serves on the Board of the California Institute of Behavioral Health Solutions and on the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch Council, a national advisory committee to the Children’s Branch of the Center for Mental Health Services under Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In 2017 he was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the No Place Like Home Advisory Committee.

Mr. Aguirre has worked in the mental health field for over 37 years as a psychiatric social worker, staff supervisor, manager, and executive. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including Mental Health Person of the Year in 2008, the 2011 Hope Award for his leadership in the County of San Diego’s Mental Health Stigma Reduction Media Campaign, “It’s Up to Us,” and the 2014 NAMI California Outstanding Mental Health Director.

Alfredo received his Master’s Degree in Social Welfare in 1978 from the University of California at Berkeley, and he has a special interest in cultural competence development in systems and communities. He authored an article, “Community Mental Health Services in a Managed Care Environment: 10 Key Issues in Promoting Cultural Competence,” published in Promoting Cultural Competence in Children’s Mental Health Services (Mario Hernandez and Mareasa R. Issacs, eds.) in 1999.