About the Mental Health Department
Director Mental Health Department
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 Bowlingreen, 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 and is currently the Chairman of the National Association of Community Behavioral Health Disabilities Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Committee.
Prior to his professional career, Mr. Gonzales served as an Infantry Officer in the US Army (4/54th Infantry Division) 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.
Velma Muniz, MA, LPC
Mental Health Department Coordinator
Velma Muniz joins the newly created Bexar County Mental Health Department as its first Mental Health Coordinator after more than 14 years with Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department. Ms. Muniz has held various leadership positions and provides extensive expertise in planning and curriculum development. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Ms. Muniz has extensive clinical experience in direct service providing treatment for juveniles, families and adults. Continuously pursuing her passion for learning Ms. Muniz is also an adjunct professor and holds two masters degrees. Her wealth of experience in program and clinical service delivery will greatly enhance the Departments ability to increase and strengthen the County’s mental health public safety net.
Melissa D. Lucio
Senior Program Analyst
Melissa D. Lucio joins the newly created Bexar County Mental Health Department as its Senior Program Analyst after more than 21 years with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Ms. Lucio has held various positions within the Adult and Juvenile Criminal Justice system and provides expertise in the areas of substance abuse treatment/services, contract compliance monitoring, quality assurance and program development. As a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor since 1991, Ms. Lucio has extensive clinical experience in direct client services providing treatment and referrals for youth & adults to include group counseling. Ms. Lucio has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Pan American University and received a Certification as a Staff Trainer from the Sam Houston State University at Huntsville. Her background in behavior health services are an asset to the Department’s ability to examine program effectiveness in an effort to best address the needs of Bexar County citizens.