Gilda Armstrong Butler
Unity Day Human Service Commissioner

Gilda Armstrong Butler is a Board Certified, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 33 years of experience in the mental health field. Gilda has considerable experience in community organization, research, training, super-vision, grant writing, contract preparation, budget preparation and hospital administration. Over the last 18 years, she has been working in key administrative positions within the Greater New Orleans area with the Office of Mental Health’s local system of care. These positions have been both clinical and administrative. 

Gilda has a strong clinical background and has worked in leadership roles in mental health programs serving adult, child and adolescent populations. Additionally she has worked in both the public and private sector and has been active in cross-agency collaborations.  She has participated in workshops to become more familiar with managed care programs and has experience as a co-investigator and primary investigator.

Gilda’s educational background includes: BA in Sociology/Psychology in 1971 from Newcomb College of Tulane University; MSW in 1972 from Tulane University School of Social Work; audited 3rd Year SW Training Program from Tulane University Medical School, Department of Child Psychiatry from Jan 1973-June 1973. I have been a licensed social worker in Louisiana since 1975.

Mrs. Butler has taught on the university level at Tulane University and Southern University, in the education and social work departments.  She has been a clinical faculty member and visiting lecturer at several local universities (Tulane, University of southern Alabama, UNO) and help write many successful grants. 

Mrs. Butler’s recent administrative positions as Associate Hospital Administrator at NOAH, Acting Regional Administrator for OMH-Region I , have afforded her the unique opportunity to administer large budgets and organizational structures, understand the legislative process and participate in re-creating evidenced-based treatment interventions.  Most recently she has held the positions of COO/System of Care Director, then Acting Area Administrator and now Deputy Director of LA Spirit hurricane Recovery Program. 

Among her greatest strengths is her ability to be innovative, progressive and to help develop programs that meet the current challenges that are facing persons with mental illnesses. She enjoys challenges and has found that working across agencies to develop partnerships with agencies, advocates, family members and other key stakeholders has been another enjoyable experience.

In late 2008, Mrs. Butler was promoted to statewide Division Director, Children and Youth Best Practices Office of Mental Health.