Mental Health Liaison - Board Member

I am honored to have been asked to serve on the Board of Directors for Shelter to Soldier™.  I have followed this organization from its inception and could not be more proud to help support your mission.  I am excited to bring my clinical expertise, experience, community contacts, leadership, and overall passion for enhancing the lives of our wounded warriors to the Board.  This is definitely a great match for me on both a personal and professional level. I have worked with active duty military and Veterans throughout much of my career and have been an avid dog lover throughout my entire life. I have had the opportunity to see firsthand on a daily basis the positive impact that a service animal can have on the mental health and overall well-being of our Veterans as they battle PTSD, depression, and physical injuries/impairments. This is often one of the most effective clinical interventions a provider can offer a Veteran and I have made clinical recommendations for thousands of Veterans I thought could benefit from having a service animal. In a culture, where we lose 20 Veterans a day to suicide; this could not be a more important or timely cause for all of us.  I could share hundreds of stories about the positive impact that having a service animal has had on the Veterans I have had the honor to work with and believe that for many,  having a service animal was the factor that has kept them alive and thriving.

David has been working as a clinical social worker since 2001 in many different capacities. He has had the honor of working in the private sector, public sector at the County, State, and Federal levels, multiple non-profit arenas, and in various medical, educational, research, and home health settings.

  • Obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 1999 and Master’s Degree of Social Work in 2001 both from San Diego State University. David has also been licensed with the state of California as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2013.
  • Working full-time for the Department of Veteran Affairs for the past 8 years and currently serve as the Mental Health Clinic Coordinator for the entire North County Region of San Diego providing clinical and administrative coordination/oversight of the North County Outpatient Mental Health Clinics with 10,000+ annual patient visits consisting of a multidisciplinary staff (psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, CADAC) to best meet the needs of this unique Veteran population while continuing to provide direct clinical evidence-based mental health treatments via individual, couples/family, and group modalities to Veterans and their families coping with PTSD, Mood/Psychotic Disorders & transitional issues.
  • Held a successful private psychotherapy practice with two locations since 2006 providing individual, family, couples, co-parenting, group, and play therapy with children, adolescents, adults and families, active duty military and Veterans focusing on treating loss, trauma, marital/family discord, divorce, Family Court Services (FCS) preparation, occupational challenges, illness/injury, life transitions, and various mental health issues (i.e. mood, anxiety, psychotic, adjustment, and childhood behavioral disorders). He is trained and certified in most evidence based therapies for treating PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Loss & Trauma, Psychosis, and marital discord.
  • Previously worked as a Senior Protective Services Worker for San Diego County HHSA Children’s Services Bureau working with medically fragile children and families and as the Lead Clinical Social Worker at Rady Children’s Hospital Emergency Room & Trauma Center.
  • Worked and volunteered in many clinical capacities for several non-profit agencies in San Diego including San Diego Youth and Community Services (SDYCS) working with homeless children/adolescents, Escondido Youth Encounter (EYE) working with juvenile sex offenders, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) for the past 10 years facilitating support groups for those affected by muscle diseases such as ALS; and Kid’s Turn San Diego  helping support children/families coping with divorce.
  • Volunteered with the Laurel Foundation as a clinical social work camp director and am a current member of their Board of Directors. As the clinical social work camp director, he would coordinate/organize community social workers and other mental health providers to help facilitate support groups for children & families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, developed and implemented online tele-mental support groups to provide much needed psychosocial support to this underserved population, and have been responsible for conducting clinical trainings, developing the program curriculum, and providing individual/group therapy.
  • On a personal level, David is a San Diego native; married to a Marriage and Family Therapist with three young daughters, and their four legged daughter named Maggie. He is an avid dog lover, cyclist, and recent triathlete.

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