Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors, staff, and Peer Mentors, are all people who have been affected by both mental illness and minority status. Most of us started out in LBHS by attending a class or a support group. As part of our recovery, we engage in outreach, mentorship, and education. Often, we become teachers, facilitators, presenters, mentors, therapists, or administrators who support LBHS and other social service agencies in the community. In this way, we build our own capacity and the capacity of the community to fulfill its own needs.

Teresa Molina, PhD, LCSW (co-founder)

“Teresa Molina, PhD, LCSW (co-founder), is a peer in recovery since 1989. As part of her recovery journey, she became a social work clinician and researcher. She came to Utah in 2006, where she has worked with Salt Lake residents in different capacities. Her research interests are mental health, substance use and community practice for recovery. Her research dissertation focused on recovery from intimate abuse among Latinas in Utah. She has volunteered as an instructor for NAMI Utah, Latino Behavioral Health Services, and refugee background mutual assistance organizations. Teresa has a strong experience working in Mexico and Utah with individuals, families and local communities for recovery awareness, empowerment and recovery. She has an appointment as assistant professor/lecturer at the College of Social Work, where she currently teaches the Honor’s College Praxis Lab in Culture and Mental Health and the Block U class Arts and Advocacy. Teresa is a member of LBHS and South Valley Services boards, NAMI Latino de Utah task force, and the Salt Lake County CODA Health Subcommittee. Teresa earned her PhD and MSW degrees from the University of Utah; her MBA degree from Lake Superior State University, and her BS in Economics at UNAM”

Leticia Frias (co-founder)

“Leticia Frias (co-founder), “Lety” comes to us from Mexico. She is a Mother of 6 and a young Grandma of 8. She is a family member of someone with special needs and active in programs like NAMI’s signature program “De Familia a Familia” as State Trainer and LBHS’s “Grupo De Apoyo al Familiar”. Lety is a graduate of the Westside Leadership Institute and has led efforts to bring public presentations and events to the Community about Mental Health Awareness. She is currently working on her Case Manager Certificate from the University of Utah, College of Social Work and is trained in Mental Health First Aid and as a Certified Peer Support Specialist for the State of Utah.”

Patricia Riano

“Patricia Riano was born in Colombia, and came to the U.S. with her family to escape violence in her country in 2001. She became interested in the topic of mental health from the perspective of a parent with an adult child who had struggled with mental health. She learned how to educate herself and her family rapidly on mental health during the entire process of soliciting and acquiring professional help for her child. She has volunteered as an instructor for NAMI Utah, and Latino Behavioral Health Services. Patricia is a member of the LBHS board. She received her MBA degree from Universidad del Rosario; her Bachelors of Science in Computer Science Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Colombia; and is currently a University of Utah MSW practicum student offering therapy at LBHS.”

Zulie Gamez

“Zulie Gamez is from Mazatlan and has been in the USA for 23 yrs. Zulie received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix. She is a Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) and has her Human Resources Management certification through Utah State University. She is also certified as a CNA, by the Davis Applied Technology College, with a minor in Information Technology. She works at Zions Bank as a Loan Specialist. Active in community affairs, Zulie currently serves in administrative positions as well as the Media and Public Relations Chair on different business and non-profit boards.”

Rick A. Cruz, Ph.D

Rick A. Cruz, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in psychology, and a faculty member in the Combined Ph.D. program in Clinical/Counseling/School Psychology at USU. Rick completed his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in Seattle with a focus in Child Clinical Psychology. Rick completed his undergraduate training in Psychology, with a minor in Spanish, at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Dr. Cruz's research is focused on the intersection of cultural and familial processes as they influence ethnic minority youth development, with a particular emphasis on Latino adolescent mental health and substance use risk. He is currently investigating cultural change and family disruption as precursors of substance use development among Mexican-origin adolescents. Dr. Cruz has extensive experience in clinical assessment and providing therapy to children and adolescents, families, and adults, with a focus on cognitive-behavioral methods. He has provided clinical services in a variety of settings, with special expertise in outpatient therapy. Dr. Cruz is currently pursuing clinical licensure in Utah. Rick enjoys playing and watching soccer, hiking, biking and running, and he is currently working on staying upright on his skis.”

Jesús N. Valero, PhD

“Jesús N. Valero, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah. Prior to joining the University of Utah, he enjoyed a professional career in the nonprofit sector. Jesús teaches courses on nonprofit organizations and NGOs and public administration seminars. He is also a Visiting Faculty in the Executive Education Program at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy where he teaches a course on partnership development. Jesús’ research explores government-nonprofit partnerships, effective leadership in nonprofit organizations, and the use and impact of social media in public service.”