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Marvin Southard

Director Doctoral Social Work Program Professor of the Practice in Social Work Dept. of Social Change and Innovation

Dr. Southard is a nationally renowned expert in the areas of mental health, homelessness, and substance abuse

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Marvin Southard
Phone:  +1 213.821.6813
Rank:  Clinical Practice
Department:  Social Change and Innovation
Assignment:  Ground

Marvin Southard

Director Doctoral Social Work Program Professor of the Practice in Social Work Dept. of Social Change and Innovation

Dr. Southard is a nationally renowned expert in the areas of mental health, homelessness, and substance abuse

Media Contact

Biography

Dr. Southard is a professor of practice. He serves as the Chair school's Doctor of Social Work program. A licensed clinical social worker, Southard is a nationally renowned expert in the areas of mental health, homelessness and substance abuse. From 1998 to 2015, he was director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, serving more than 250,000 clients annually in one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the nation. During his tenure, he focused on developing community-based partnerships, treatment of co-occurring mental illness and substance use, using peer lead prorams and initiating children’s mental health programs. Before that, he served in a similar capacity as director of mental health in Kern County, overseeing mental health, substance abuse, public conservatorship and mental health-related HIV services. His past appointments also include seven years as vice president of mental health programs and director of clinical services at El Centro Human Services Corporation in Los Angeles. He served as senior fellow of public policy at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research; as associate clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine’s psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences department; and as clinical associate professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Southard is past president of the California Social Work Education Center Board of Directors as well as past president of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California. He was also a commissioner on the LA County Children and Families First – First 5 LA Commission. He is currently Chair of the California Institute of Behavioral Health Solutions and Executive Committee member of Proxy Parent Foundation Among his many achievements are the 2016 Social Welfare Alumnus of the Year Award from UCLA in recognition of his contributions and dedication to the field of mental health and the 2015 Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect Award for his commitment to protect the most vulnerable children in LA County. He is currently a board member of the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions, a member of the American College of Mental Health Administration and a board member of the Network for Social Work Management. Mostly recently he was recognized for Lifetime Achievement by NAMI of California.

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Education

University of California, Los Angeles

D. S. W. 1983

University of California, Berkeley

M. S. W. 1975

St. John’s College

B. A. 1971

Area of Expertise

  • Substance Abuse
  • Mental Health
  • Social Work
  • Social Work Education
  • Homelessness

Industry Experience

  • Social Services
  • Mental Health Care
  • Education/Learning
  • Research

Research Interest

  • Homelessness
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse

Accomplishments

Joseph A. Nunn Social Welfare Alumnus of the Year Award, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
2016
U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award, USC School of Social Work Department of Community, Organization, and Business Innovation
2016
Robert C. Egnew Excellence in Advocacy Award, National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors
2016
Exemplary Service Award, Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission's 16th Annual Profiles of Hope Volunteer and Program Recognition Awards
2015

Articles & Publications

A community-partnered, participatory, cluster-randomized study of depression care quality improvement: three-year outcomes | Psychiatric Services
2017 Community Partners in Care, a community-partnered, cluster-randomized trial with depressed clients from 93 Los Angeles health and community programs, examined the added value of a community coalition approach (Community Engagement and Planning [CEP]) versus individual program technical assistance (Resources for Services [RS]) for implementing depression quality improvement in underserved communities. CEP was more effective than RS in improving mental health–related quality of life, reducing behavioral health hospitalizations, and shifting services toward community-based programs at six months. At 12 months, continued evidence of improvement was found. This study examined three-year outcomes.

Implementing challenging policy and systems change: Identifying leadership competencies | Human Services Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance
2016 The first challenge, integrating care, is perhaps one of the hardest facing our nation today. Even those of us with excellent health insurance may have experienced personally, or through caring for loved ones, that getting specialty and primary health care connected and coordinated can be extremely difficult and time consuming. This general issue is even more difficult for those who suffer from mental illness. As a result, people with serious mental illness die more than 20 years earlier than the general population, not due to the effects of mental illness such as suicide, but from chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Making clinical decisions after Tarasoff | New directions for mental health services
Southard, Marvin J., and Bruce H. Gross
1982 Much to the confusion of mental health professionals, Tarasoff has been misrepresented as simply establishing a duty to warn. Clinicians are offered a clear schema for understanding the practical implications of this decision and for implementing it in their practice...