Our mission is to provide mental health and wellness support to Responders, their families, and their employing agencies through informational, educational, social, and clinical channels.

Our Community

On August 3rd, 2019 in El Paso, Texas, first responders arrived en masse to face the carnage and chaos of an Active Shooter situation. Ultimately, 23 members of our bi-national community died and 24 were wounded. A scant 7 months later, the same Responder community remained on the job during the unfolding of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. A few weeks later, it seemed the world caught on fire as humanity watched police and community relations explode into chaos that continues to dominate our national conversations. In the Responder circles here, within this community, there is a palpable sense that one burden has been laid atop another, and another. Yet the calls for assistance continue and will continue.
Our Primary Initiatives 

The  West Texas Responders Alliance has established three primary initiatives

Respond in Faith

Outreach to and through faith communities

Texans to the Rescue

Peers, networking, wellness, and support

I Love a Responder

Family education and support

Our Story 

West Texas Responders Alliance was formed in the fall of 2019 as a way to support our region's Responders. Organized by a group of caring, talented, and generous members of the El Paso community, we provide opportunities for training, networking, services and education. We believe that the best support will result in tangible outreach across geographical areas, include a variety of organizations, and will include Responder families. We believe in empirically validated interventions that have the undeniable touch of real relationships.

Deborah Ontiveros Ph.D., LPC-S, CEAP, PHR

Deborah Ontiveros Ph.D., LPC-S, CEAP, PHR

Executive Director

The WTRA Executive Director, Deborah Ontiveros, Ph.D., is one of the only Public Safety Psychologists in the west Texas region. As such, Dr. Ontiveros was asked to serve as Chair of the City/County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Recovery Workgroup for Responders in the wake of the August 3, 2019 mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. . Dr. Ontiveros is also serving as a member of the OEM Recovery Steering Committee. Additionally, Dr. Ontiveros served on the After Action Review Committee and was responsible for collecting the After Action surveys from the Responders. It should be noted that “Responders” in this case include all local police, fire, communications, Sheriff’s deputy, EMS,  State Trooper, federal law enforcement, Medical Examiner, County Morgue, and hospital personnel who were on duty on August 3rd.

Deborah Ontiveros is a psychologist in private practice with over 25 years’ experience working with organizations, families, and individuals.  Dr. Ontiveros received her BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, an MA in Counseling from Webster University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from The Institute for Transpersonal Psychology.

Her counseling specialties include Employee Assistance Program design and implementation, including all phases of policy development, supervisory training, and brief therapy. Her client organizations have included financial institutions, heavy industry, manufacturing, utility companies, employment agencies and municipal and county governmental organizations. Dr. Ontiveros has over 20 years’ experience working with police, federal law enforcement and military personnel in such areas as policy development, trauma response, stress management, supervisory training, and routine counseling.

Dr. Ontiveros has served on several other Boards of Directors including the Junior League of El Paso, the Girls Scouts of America Rio Grande Council, and the Executive Forum – an organization for professional women in the El Paso area.  Dr. Ontiveros has served as an Adjunct faculty member for the Education and Counseling Psychology Department at the University of Texas at El Paso.  She is an instructor for the El Paso Community College Law Enforcement Academy. Dr. Ontiveros is a licensed Supervisor for the Texas State Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors, supervising the professional development of professionals seeking independent licensure. She also serves as a supervisor for graduate students from several universities who are completing requirements for their master’s degrees in the counseling field.

Dr. Ontiveros is a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP), a Certified Professional of Human Resources (PHR), a Certified Anger Resolution Therapist (CART), and a Qualified Federal Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional (DOT-SAP). She  is also certified in Critical Incident Stress Management at Levels I & II by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, certified in the Multi-systemic Critical Incident Response model, and trained with the American Red Cross for disaster relief services.

Rosalynn Carrasco

Rosalynn Carrasco

Educator and Provider

Rosalynn Carrasco is a 200 hr. certified yoga instructor under yoga alliance.  She focuses on Ashtanga and Rocket Yoga.  She has studied under David Swenson, Carson Clay Calhoun, Gil Anton Perez, and Vanessa Perez.  Rosalynn has been teaching yoga for four years and has practiced for over a decade.  She became interested in yoga when she was pregnant.  At the time she was looking for a safe way to stay in shape.  She was immediately hooked and practiced vinyasa for years.  As part of her certification requirement, Rosalynn took her first Ashtanga class in 2017 and it was love at first practice.  Rosalynn focuses on ashtanga because the set sequence monitors your progress and ensures the student focuses on all parts of the body.  The first series of Ashtanga is Yoga Chikitsa which means yoga therapeutics in the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit.  This is an accurate definition.  As you go through the 90 minute practice you explore and push your body and mind from head to toe.  The truest benefits of yoga however are the improvement in mental clarity.  Yoga helps one find peace of mind and calmness in chaotic times.

Rosalynn has been a member of the El Paso Police Department for over 18 years and is currently a police sergeant.  She is a wife and mother of three which she credits as her greatest achievements.

Dee Rocha LVN, RMA

Dee Rocha LVN, RMA

“Inspiring Self-Love & Inviting a Healthy Balance.”

Dee is an Allied Heath Instructor- American Medical Technologist, a Certified Yoga Teacher who specializes in Active, Restorative, and Gentle Flow styles. She is currently pursuing her “Yoga Therapist” license. Dee would like to share the following: “I believe everyone can practice yoga!! I’m an active yogi who loves to meditate, and practices restorative and Yin- Yoga! I’m a health educator and a huge motivator of personal nutrition and a healthy life style. As a Nurse and Medial Instructor, I have experienced the many health benefits of practicing yoga. As a yoga student myself, I was inspired to become a yoga teacher so that I can create a healthy environment for my community full of inspiration, health education and wellness. I offer classes for students of all levels and all backgrounds. Students can experience gentle flows and meditation. I hope to inspire self-love & promote a healthy balance, on and off the mat.

Jim Pickett

Jim Pickett

Educator and Provider

Jim is a 35-year Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major and Veteran of both Active Duty and Reserve retiring in November 2019. He is also a certified facilitator for the Family Dynamics Institute for their Dynamic Marriage program. The program was developed to enhance and strengthen marriages through an insightful journey to discover each other’s innermost emotional needs and expectations. He has completed Level 1 and Level 2 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, through Liberty University, and uses Gottman Method Couples Therapy in his work. He is completing his master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy through Liberty University nearing the end of his requirements for graduation and is set to begin his Doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology. He is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA - C2002541334), American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT - 191388), and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC - 434474). Jim is also a life member of the American Legion and Past Adjutant of American Legion Post 1, London, Chapter Director American Legion Riders, London Post 1, and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Cyndi Pickett

Cyndi Pickett

Ex Officio Member serving as a special advisor for Financial Systems

Cyndi comes to us with 40 years’ experience in accounting and administration. She is completing her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership at Liberty and is poised to begin her Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Non-profit administration. She is also a Retired Spouse of the U.S. Army when her husband retired in November 2019. She is a certified facilitator for the Family Dynamics Institute for their Dynamic Marriage program. The program was developed to enhance and strengthen marriages through an insightful journey to discover each other’s innermost emotional needs and expectations. She and her husband Jim have been married over 34 years.
Virginia Oth

Virginia Oth

Board Secretary/Treasurer

Ms. Virginia Oth is currently serving as the Secretary/Treasurer of the WTRA board. Ms. Oth has a combined work experience of over 45 years, working within the public education system and, more recently, with nonprofit organizations throughout the city of El Paso, Texas. Ms. Oth’s skills and experience as a professional teacher lend themselves to the WTRA team’s abilities to create and execute quality curriculum and trainings identified within this proposal. Her work within the nonprofit arena in the El Paso area ensures that WTRA is able to effectively connect faith-based and nonprofit organizations, with agency POC, Peers and Chaplains. Ms. Oth is uniquely gifted in her ability to develop rapport and build team relationships among the professionals and volunteers serving to advance the WTRA initiatives.

William I. Funk

William I. Funk

Board Vice Chair

Mr. William Funk is currently serving as the Vice Chairman for the WTRA nonprofit board. Mr. Funk has over 30 years of experience working both internationally, and nationally, in management and marketing. Mr. Funk is highly skilled and talented in project and brand management, working with industry leaders throughout his career. His experience and skills in this area will allow the WTRA to establish rapport with the participating agencies named within this proposal. Mr. Funk is also an established leader in his community, starting a youth ministry work for the Diocese of El Paso. Mr. Funk’s talent and skills in project management, as well as his experience with community organizations helps the WTRA team to work effectively with agency POC, Peers, and Chaplains across our region.

Keith Roseman

Keith Roseman

Educator and Provider

Keith is a licensed massage therapist, accredited by the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association). He is Board Certified by the NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork), certified in Thai massage, and is a Reiki Master specializing in advancing the art, science, and practice of massage therapy. Keith finished at the top of his massage therapy training program and continues to excel and bring the most modern forms of massage therapy and wellness to his clients. He is a Licensed Massage Therapy Instructor, Approved Continuing Education Provider, and has a Yoga Studio as well. Keith has been working with Responders for many years, assisting them with their recoveries from injuries, helping them to better manage stress, and teaching them ways to improve their overall health and resilience.

Joseph D Onitveros

Joseph D Onitveros

Ex Officio Member serving as a special advisor for law enforcement initiatives.

Joe has over 33 years of federal law enforcement experience having worked as a Criminal Investigator/Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Social Security Administration OIG, and a Lead Criminal Investigator/Senior Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security OIG. Joe is a certified digital forensics examiner, certified firearms instructor, and certified personal trainer. Joe graduated cum laude from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance in 1986. Joe is a native of El Paso and a 1982 graduate of Eastwood High School. Joe is married, has three adult sons and three grandchildren.

Carlo Clark

Carlo Clark

April Clark

April Clark

Contact West Texas Responders Alliance