Lynette Sheard – is the Director of the Mental Health Players which is a highly successful, interactive community education program. It is the longest-running program of its type in the state. Volunteers are trained to depict realistic scenarios involving mental health and addiction issues. These presentations provide audiences with a dynamic way to receive basic education about mental illness, addiction and other relevant challenges. The mission is to increase awareness, decrease stigma and break the silence. She has worked with the Mental Health Association for over 13 years as a senior employment specialist, job coach and a Career Connections Employment Research Institute trainer. She was awarded APSE’s Employment Professional of the year for her work with individuals with disabilities and staff development trainings. She is certified by Mental Health America as a trainer of Mental Health First Aid for adults, older adults and youth. She also trains community service providers in Wellness Recovery Action Planning, and Hearing Distressing Voices. Psychiatric Advance Directives, and a sought-after keynote speaker.
She has also worked as an elementary classroom teacher, college administrator, corporate sales executive and a non- profit Director. She serves on numerous non-profit advisory boards and volunteers for numerous local and international charities helping to raise awareness and money to help those in need. In addition, she is a versatile vocalist, actor, activist, producer, director and vocal coach. Her performances have been acknowledged in numerous publications including the New York Times, Broadway World, and The Star Ledger which proclaimed that “Her voice reaches deep into one’s soul and finds a soft spot” She performs Jazz, R&B, Gospel, Soul and Pop music. Being a native of Newark NJ her live jazz performances have landed her a spot in the “The Encyclopedia of Newark Jazz”. Theater credits include principal roles in: Dream Girls, Smokey Joe’s Café, Ragtime, Ragtime The Musical, Swing, Aida, For Colored Girls, A Raisin in the Sun and Gary Coleman in Avenue Q in which Broadway World declared that “she is fabulous with a voice that shakes the rafters”