Diana’s career as a mental health advocate for persons with mental illness and other disabilities began in 1995 when she connected with an advocacy program called “Partners in Policymaking”. Through this nine month advocacy and leadership training program sponsored by the Texas Council on Developmental Disabilities, she developed the skills necessary to effectively testify for increased funding and improved mental health services. It was also through this comprehensive advocacy program that Diana discovered her leadership abilities and became known around the state of Texas as an influential voice for persons with mental illness.
Diana was employed at NAMI Texas (National Alliance on Mental Illness) from 1999 to 2007, working in numerous capacities: consumer advocate, I & R, public policy coordinator, newsletter editor, affiliate coordinator, meeting and conference events planner, NAMIWalks manager, fundraiser, representative to state mandated workgroups and NAMI Texas consumer spokesperson.
Among some of the audiences that Diana has addressed are: College and Graduate classes in Social Work, Psychology, Rehabilitation and Public Policy; local and state health and human service agencies; NAMI Family to Family classes; inpatients and outpatients; several churches; numerous conferences; and CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Trainings throughout the state.
Blessed with so many diverse opportunities and experiences, Diana made the difficult decision to leave her job at NAMI Texas and “follow her bliss” as a public speaker, writer and consultant.
Diana’s mission is simple: “I want EVERYONE with a mental illness to have a wonderful life like I do!” With passion for this important cause and compassion for others, Diana is determined to encourage others to “EXPECT RECOVERY!”
- Award of Special Recognition from NAMI Texas, 2003
- NAMIWalks Enthusiasm Award, 2004
- Celebration Recovery Award, 2004
- Harold Scogin Sunshine award from NAMI Austin in 2005
- Reintegration Award from Eli Lilly Company, 2005
- New Milestones Spirit Award, 2006
- Board member of Goodwill of Central Texas, 2004 to present
- PLAN (Planned Living Assistance Network) Board Member, 2007 to present
- AustinStateHospital Ethics Committee and Public Education Committee
- 2003 to 2009 Appointment by the Governor to the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
- NAMI Austin Board Member, 1999 to 2006
- Active Member of Unity Church of San Marcos, 1999 to present