Deputy Executive Commissioner, Behavioral Health Services, Sonja Gaines


Sonja Gaines is the deputy executive commissioner for Behavioral Health Services.

She came to HHSC in 2014 as the first associate commissioner for Mental Health Coordination and spearheaded the development of the first Texas statewide behavioral health strategic plan across 23 state agencies.

In 2016, she assumed leadership responsibility for the policy and delivery of community based services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health conditions.

Gaines has more than 20 years of community mental health experience. She previously served as chief of mental health services with My Health My Resources of Tarrant County.

She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Texas Women’s University and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of Maryland and William Paterson University, respectively.