Director, Bexar County Department of Behavioral and Mental Health
Gilbert Gonzales has more than 30 years of experience in the field of substance abuse and mental health, crisis prevention and in treatment provision as a clinician, university faculty, project/program director and policy advisor. Throughout his career, he has led strategic planning, treatment and policy development, and training. He has also led systems change initiatives that help mental health and substance abuse service providers promote collaboration and build service capacity in support of diverse populations.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas Mr. Gonzales received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and his second Master’s degree from Trinity University in Clinical Psychology. His first Master’s Degree , a Masters in Public Service, was obtained from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He has been licensed in Texas as a Licensed Professional Counselor, and as a supervisor of Counselors by the Texas State Board of Professional Counselors. Mr. Gonzales was also licensed as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) by the Texas Certification Board of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. He is certified as a Trauma Resolution Therapist and a Supervisor of Trauma Resolution Therapists and is also certified in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing.
Mr. Gonzales began as a Psychologist for Harris County MHMRA evaluating and providing treatment to jail inmates in a maximum-security setting. He then began program development and administrative leadership in various mental health and forensic settings throughout his career. He has been responsible for development of program, policy and implementation for community wide jail diversion services for persons with mental illness who come in contact with law enforcement and for offenders with mental impairments within Bexar County and the City of San Antonio, Texas. As Director of Diversion Initiatives, the jail diversion programs developed have received the American Psychiatric Associations “Gold Award” for Program Innovation and the National “Program Service Excellence Award” from the National Council of Behavioral Healthcare. Additionally, Mr. Gonzales has contributed to many articles and has published “Out of Jail and Into Treatment”, Behavioral Healthcare; August 2006, Vol 26, No. 8, pages 24-27. He is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reviewer for Jail Diversion and Specialty Courts programs at the national level and has provided evaluation and consultation in multiple administrative and clinical settings.
Mr. Gonzales has served as a member of the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Leadership Forum for Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Services, the National Stepping Up Initiative, the White House Data Justice Initiative and is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Counties (NACo) as well as serving as the Vice President of the National Association of Community Behavioral Health Disabilities Directors.
Prior to his professional career, Mr. Gonzales served as an Infantry Officer in the US Army (Bravo Company, 4/54th Infantry Division, Air Assault) and was honorably discharged with commendation for having successfully streamlined policy and procedures for detained soldiers waiting disposition in returning or leaving the army due to committed offenses.