About Mental Health Matters Too
Mental Health Matters Too was created for three simple reasons.
1) Mental health affects how people think, feel and behave and this has a direct impact on a person’s physical health. MHMT exist to help people understand the mind-body connection and how to use this knowledge to create optimal personal health.
2) The bleeding disorders community has experienced a great deal of loss and human strife throughout the years. MHMT exist to acknowledge this turbulent past and the psychological challenges that could have resulted from it. The idea behind MHMT is to create awareness of mental health issues within the community and provide guidance to resources for care.
3) Life with a bleeding disorder can be very stressful and at times overwhelming. By talking openly and honestly about our mental health, MHMT hopes to create an environment where people can connect and seek comfort in knowing they are not alone with their struggles.
About The Founder
Debbie de la Riva received a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Houston and became a licensed professional counselor in 1989. Her work experiences have included serving as a stress management therapist in a psychiatric hospital, managing a mental health resource department and was an Executive Director of an affiliate of Mental Health America.
When her son was born with severe hemophilia in 1994, the entire de la Riva family quickly became involved with the bleeding disorders community on a local and national level. Debbie is a former Executive Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation, past Co-Chair of NHF Annual meeting and a recipient of the Ricky Ray Award for her advocacy efforts. Her son, Jorge, attended hemophilia camp and ultimately became a camp counselor. Her daughter, Cristina, was elected to be a member of NHF’s National Youth Leadership Institute and her husband, Jorge, served as the chairman of NHF’s Board of Directors.
In addition to founding Mental Health Matters Too, Debbie is a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and provides training to hemophilia treatment centers and chapters around the country.