Advocacy often relies on media and messaging. As media and messaging evolve with new technology and platforms, the advocacy goals often remain the same.
This week, we’ll be joined by Eduardo Vega, a veteran mental health advocate who has been using media and messaging for years. He’ll be discussing “The Way Forward.” Come chat with him about this new, national initiative.
The Tweets for this chat will be archived on Storify.
And, if you have a minute, listen to more about why suicide attempt survivors are becoming the center of suicide prevention:
Eduardo Vega, 45, is Executive Director for the Mental Health Association of San Francisco (MHASF), 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 advance recovery-driven transformation of mental health services and supports in San Francisco and beyond. He is the Principal Investigator and Director of the California Center for Dignity, Social Inclusion and Stigma Elimination, a technical assistance, research and training center focused on advancing evidence based practices in reduction of stigma associated with mental health conditions.
Mr. Vega was appointed to the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) in May of 2007 and reappointed in December 2010. Mr. Vega was appointed to the Executive Committee of the National Action Alliance on Suicide Prevention, a joint public-private project of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Defense, in 2010. For that body he chairs the Task Force on Suicide Attempt Survivors and is a charter member of the National Suicide Prevention Plan revision workgroup. He has served on the Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline since 2005 where he led several ground-breaking initiatives in public communications, emergency department responses, follow-up, peer support and attempt-survivor learning sessions. Mr. Vega has taught and trained on mental health services, advocacy, consumer empowerment, recovery programs and policy at conferences across the United States, in Beijing, China, Tokyo, Kobe, and Canada.
Mr. Vega served as the first Chief of the Office of Empowerment and Advocacy for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, where he developed directed many programs in the world’s largest county mental health system. He was a writer and contributor to the national Resource Center to Address Discrimination Associated with Mental illness (ADS Center) and served as Dissemination Director for the federally-funded UPenn Collaborative on Community Integration of People with Psychiatric Disabilities.
Throughout 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. For this work he was honored by the U.S. Senate and the National Resource Center on Hispanic Mental Health in 2009. He holds an M.A. in Psychology from New School for Social Research.