Board of Directors
Melanie O'Neal, Executive Director
Melanie was appointed Executive Director of MHAJC in January 2018. She has worked in the Judicial system for the past 10 years. Melanie is married to Jason O'Neal. They have four children, Elizabeth, Jenna, Josh, and Jorja. Melanie is a member at Seymour Christian Church. She serves on the jackson County Drug Free Council, Jackson County Community Service Council, Jackson County Transition Council, and the Teed Suicide coalition. Melanie is also employed by The Arc of Jackson County.
Vicki Johnson-Poynter, President
Vicki has been a Jackson County Mental Health America Board Member and President of the Board since 2004. She has lived in Jackson County since 1998. Vicki worked at Schneck Medical Center until her retirement in 2016. Vicki has been a Registered Nurse for over 40 years. She feels that being a part of MHAJC has enhanced her life in many ways and that the MHA clients are wonderful to work with. Vicki states, "MHA serves a wonderful mission of bringing joy to the lives of people that could so easily be forgotten. The Board of MHAJC is focused on improving the lives of those we serve. We appreciate the support of the United Way so much!"
Karen Metz, Secretary
Karen joined the mental health board in 2006. She had been employed with the Jackson County Health Dept. since 1983 and Administrative Office Manager since 1990, but has recently retired. Prior to that time she was fortunate enough to have been a stay-at-home mom, caring for 3 sons. She, and late husband Stan, have one grandson. Karen is a member of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Dudleytown. Her passion for mental health goes back to her childhood, as she had a mentally disabled brother who lived for 61 years. She saw first hand the many challenges her parents faced. Her brother, John, was one of the first students to attend the Sunshine School, one of the first schools in Jackson County for those with mental illnesses. Most recently, she has been working closely with people who are bipolar and understands the many problems they face. She hopes to bring joy and hope into the lives of those with mental challenges.
Carolyn Bruce, Treasurer
Carolyn joined the MHAJC in 1993 and is currently serving as treasurer. She became interested in mental health due to mental health issues on her mother's side of the family. She worked as a teaching assistant for 15 years in the Seymour School District and spent 8 years in retail. She was formerly the Health Educator at the Jackson County Health Dept. She is married to Leonard Bruce and they have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren. They are members of Central Christian Church. Carolyn volunteers at Hoosier Christian Village, Meals on Wheels, and Jackson County Clothing Center monthly.
Doris has been involved with MHAJC for more than 45 years, beginning in the early 60's by wrapping and labeling boxes for the annual Chrismas Gift Lift at Muscatatuck State Hospital. She later became a board member in 1996 and has served as secretary for several terms. She lives in Crothersville and helps with mental health collection in the Crothersville area.
Mary Jane Lasater
Mary Jane was born into a family of educators. She is a retired teacher with Seymour Community Schools. Her father was Superintendent of Schools in Van Buren, Ark.,her three sisters were elementary teachers, and her husband was a teacher then Director of Transportation, Buildings and Grounds for the Seymour School System. Her daughter, Mindy, is a second grade teacher at Jackson Elementary, and her son, David, is Director of Development at Purdue University. She looks forward to continuing to use her background in Education working the mentally challenged and in educating the public about all aspects of mental health. Her hobbies are walking, reading, and doing church work. She loves to spend time with her 5 grandchildren: Bailey, Will, Zachary, Anna, and Brady. She is a member of Tri Kappa, Delta Kappa Gamma, Seymour Retired Teachers Association, an Elder at the First Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Special Projects Committee at Schneck Medical Center Foundation.
Libby has spent most of her life in education, either as a teacher, counselor, or student. She earned a B.S. and M.S. from Indiana University and an Ed. S. from Butler University. Before becoming a school counselor she taught English at the middle school level. The last 18 years of her career were at Seymour High School where she served as Director of Student Services. Since retiring she has remained involved in education by supervising student teachers for Indiana University and administering the GED test to inmates at the Jackson County Jail. In retirement she has also volunteered at the 211 Helpline which serves Jackson County and several other counties in the area. She and husband Jerry attend White Creek United Methodist Church where her husband, Jerry, is pastor. Although they are retired, Libby and Jerry still operate Roberts Tree Farm, and enjoy creating a fun, wholesome experience for families at Christmastime. Libby also belongs to Kiwanis Club. Libby has a heart for mental health especially since experiencing first hand the heartache of suicide. The Roberts' lost a son, Cliff, to suicide at age 22. They also have three other children, Nicole of Las Vegas; Cecily, of Georgetown, Ky, and J.D. who lives in Seymour.
Celeste has been a Jackson County Mental Health America Board member since 2017. She has lived in Jackson County most of her life and graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington with a degree in Secondary Education (Chemistry and Biology). Celeste has been employed by River Valley Resources as a Jobs for America's Graduates Specialist since 2013 and serves at Seymour High School in this capacity. Her passion surrounding mental health grew as a result of watching her maternal grandfather deal with mental health issues and learning about the issues and struggles that some of her students were facing. Celeste and her husband, Steve, and their youngest son, Nick, live in Reddington on a family farm and are members of Reddington Christian Church. Their older son and a daughter-in-law, Isaac and Kelly Bowman, live in Seymour, are both employed by Cummins Engine Co. and are studying Mechanical Engineering at IUPUC. Nick Bowman is in the 7th grade at Seymour Middle School. Celeste also serves on the Seymour Area Farmers Market Committee Board, the Prevention Committee for the Substance Abuse Task Force, and as a deaconess and worship team member for Reddington Christian Church.