Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola is an internationally renowned expert on mental health in ethnic populations. As on-site principal investigator of the Mexican American Prevalence and Services Survey – the largest mental health study conducted in the United States on Mexican Americans – he identified the most prevalent mental health disorders in the Mexican-origin population in California’s central valley; showed that the rate of disorders increases the longer the individual resides in the United States; and demonstrated that children of immigrants have even greater rates of mental disorders. From this study, he developed a model of service delivery that increased access to mental health services among the Central Valley’s low-income, underserved, rural populations.
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola conducts cross-national epidemiologic studies on the patterns and correlates of psychiatric disorders in general population samples. He is the coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Survey, and coordinates the work of the National Mental Health Institute surveys in Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica and Portugal. He also develops culturally and linguistically sensitive diagnostic mental health measures, and translates mental health research into practical information for consumers and their families, health professionals, service administrators and policy makers.