Behavioral Health Services logo

Imperial County Mental Health Board

The role and function of the board is to review and evaluate the community's mental health needs, services, and special problems; review any county agreements entered into pursuant to Section 5650; advise the governing body and the local mental health director as to any aspect of the local mental health program; review and approved the procedures used to ensure citizen and professional involvement at all stages of the planning process; submit an annual report to the governing body on the needs and performance of the county's mental health system; review and make recommendations on applicants for the appointment of a local director of mental health services; review and comment on the county's performance outcome data and communicate its findings to the State Mental Health Commission; Perform other duties or functions as may be transferred to the Mental Health Board by the Board of Supervisor; assess the impact of the realignment of services from the state to the county, on services delivered to clients and on the local community.

The Mental Health Board consist of eleven members, 10 members appointed by the Board of Supervisors and one member who is appointed by the Chair of the Board of Supervisors to represent the Board of Supervisors consistent with Section 5604 (a) of the California Welfare and Institutions Code.

Mental Health Board Annual Report

Contact the Board Members

Benny Benavidez
Chairman of the Board, District 2 Representative

Mr. Benavidez started his career in Imperial County Probation as a Juvenile Hall Officer in the 1970's. In this assignment, he started early in working towards offender rehabilitation and used his knowledge to be a good counselor. In the 1980's, he transitioned to the service of Probation Officer and worked Investigations and Supervision. His supervision style was geared towards treatment; he ensured that all offenders had specific case plans geared towards their individual risks and needs.
In the 1990's, Mr. Benavidez transferred his knowledge to the Department of Corrections. During this time in that agency, he quickly went up the ranks and performed several different tasks geared towards transitioning the prison populations towards the community services that would help them be successful, like pro-social skill development, housing, and employment assistance. He concluded his career with that agency in 2011 as a Parole Administrator and was instrumental in changing the organizational culture to a treatment model that we now know as the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Mr. Benavidez possesses a degree in Criminal Justice Administration from San Diego State University and continues to be a Correctional Science instructor for Imperial Valley College. He has been married for 35 years and is a father to two wonderful children, who also follow in the family tradition of public service.

Benny Benavidez, District 2 Representative

Pamela Mills-Morita
Vice Chairwoman of the Board, District 3 Representative

Pamela Sue Mills-Morita came to the Imperial Valley as a child when her father became stationed at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro. In 1978 she returned to the Imperial Valley upon accepting a job as a speech therapist with El Centro School District. She has worked for the Imperial County Office of Education for 24 years. Pamela obtained her degree from Texas Women's University and completed her graduate work in Speech Pathology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Az.

Pamela Mills-Morita, District 3 Representative

Nancy Lee Rhodes
Immediate Past Chairwoman of the Board, District 2 Representative

Mrs. Rhodes relocated to the Imperial County with her husband and family with the sole purpose to start Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program in Imperial County. In 1994, she started the non-profit agency, CASA, as the Executive Director. CASA of Imperial County serves foster children in the dependency system. After fourteen years, Nancy retired from CASA and then within eighteen months found a rewarding volunteer job. She volunteers with the El Centro Police Department in their CIPS (Community in Police Service) volunteer program.

Nancy Lee Rhodes, District 2 Representative

Harold Walk
District 3 Representative

Harold service activities include City of El Centro Planning Commission/ Former Chairman, Loan Review Committee Member of I.V. Joint Powers/Imperial County Community & Economic Development, Advisory Board Member of Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center, Former Vice Chairman of El Centro Elementary School District Citizens' Oversight Committee.

Harold Walk, District 3 Representative

Kurt Leptich
District 4 Representative

Mr. Leptich is the Senior Director of Imperial County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). He has called Imperial County home since 1965. Mr. Leptich finds great happiness with this wife of 25 years and their two adult daughters that currently attend universities in San Diego. Personal affiliations include the El Centro Kiwanis Club, Valley Baptist Church and Sunrunners Car Club. His passions include spending time with a large extended family, rebuilding antique automobiles and working around his house.

Harold Walk, District 4 Representative

Oscar Garcia MBA, MSN, BSN, RN
District 4 Representative

AA and AS degrees in Registered Nursing License from IVC in 1991. Mr. Garcia also holds a Bachelors Degree in Nursing, Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration. He started his career in healthcare as an emergency medical technician where the past 30 years he has performed EMT, ambulance, Critical Care, Trauma Registered Nurse, and holds professional and advanced resuscitation certificates. In the past 20 years Mr. Garcia has functioned as a Manager, Supervisor, Sr. Director, and Nurse Executive levels at ECRMC, Pioneers Memorial, Sharp Memorial Hospital San Diego, East LA Doctors Hospital, Valley Presbyterian Hospital Van Nuys, and others. Locally as former Director of Emergency/ Trauma Services, and Chief Nurse Executive level for both local hospitals, Mr. Garcia has written and implemented policies and procedures designed to improve access to care for all patient populations. Currently he works in one of the local emergency departments as a staff Registered Nurse, and is a consultant for an entity named Patient Care Analytics, a Tech-firm in Palm Desert California. He teaches in two different online educational institutions that deliver graduate and undergraduate degree programs and is also adjunct faculty at Imperial Valley College. Over the past 15 years he has formally studied the issues and constraints that affect local health care delivery and practices that include the care of our mental health patient populations in the acute care setting. Mr. Garcia’s goal with the Mental Health Board is to serve to improve collaborative practice among members of the healthcare team towards the global care of our mental health patient population. He is here to help Mental Health in our community.

Oscar Garcia, District 4 Representative

Ray Castillo
Representative of the Board of Supervisors, District 5 Supervisor

Raymond "Ray" Castillo" is a lifelong resided whose grandparents first came to the Imperial Valley in 1902. Mr. Castillo was elected to the Imperial County Board of Supervisors, District 5, in November 2010. In the 5th District, Castillo represents the communities of El Centro, Brawley, Holtville, Winterhaven and Palo Verde.
Prior to Mr. Castillo's election on the Board of Supervisors, he had been elected to the El Centro City Council and subsequently appointed as Mayor in 2003 and 2004. Castillo graduated from CUHS in 1967, IVC in 1973 and SDSU Calexico in 1977. His law enforcement career spans back 34 years, working with Holtville Police Department, Imperial County Probation Department, US Customs and the California Department of Corrections, where upon he retired from on July 2004.
Mr. Castillo is married to Gloria, his wife of 43 years, has five grown children: Angie, Teresa, Louisa, Michelle and Raymond Jr. and fifteen grandchildren.

Ray Castillo, District 5 Representative