About Eduardo Vega
An internationally recognized thought leader in mental health systems, programs and policy, consumer/patient engagement, stigma reduction, men’s health and suicide prevention, Eduardo Vega’s work continues to drive the forefront of change for mental health worldwide. A former Fulbright Specialist and California State Mental Health Commissioner, he has spearheaded progressive social and public health change at local, national and international levels.
For over twenty-five years, Vega has worked for the improvement of lives and systems of care in behavioral health. A suicide attempt survivor who experienced serious mental health conditions himself since childhood, Vega has served as counselor and/or manager in virtually every psychosocial and clinical mental health service setting, as well a performing executive roles in government, business and non-profit administration. As President and CEO of Mental Health Association of San Francisco from 2010 to 2016, he drove organizational expansion near one-thousand percent in three years, focusing on innovation in consumer-run services and community empowerment. Simultaneously, as Director and Principal Investigator at the international Center for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment Vega spearheaded leading-edge research, TA and training projects in suicide and stigma and discrimination reduction, community integration, self-help and peer support. Previously, he served at the executive management level of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, one of the world’s largest public mental health authorities.
Highly sought as a speaker for his dynamism and ability to connect personal experience with systems and social change, Mr. Vega has presented and consulted on policy and technical issues in behavioral health with stakeholder and consumer groups, private industry and government throughout the US, in Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Fiji and Latin America. He serves on the boards of the College for Behavioral Health Leadership and United Suicide Survivors International, the Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Global Anti-Stigma Alliance, and the Executive Committee of the US National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, through which he founded the world’s first suicide attempt survivor task force.
Vega has been recognized by the State of California, the United States Senate, the US federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the nation of Fiji, the International Initiative on Mental Health Leadership and the United States Surgeon General among others. He holds an M.A. in Psychology from the Graduate Faculty of New School for Social Research.